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Full text of "Signal fires on the trail of the Pathfinder"

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SIGNAL FIliES 



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NEW YORK: 
DAYTON AND BUR DICK, 

29 ANN STEEET. 

1856. 



SIGNAL FIRES 



ON THE 



Crail 0f %lat|fnikr. 



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NEW YORK: 
DAYTON AND BUR DICK 

29 ANN STREET. 

1856. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S56, by 

DAYTON AND BUEDICK, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 



DAVIES AND ROBERTS, 

Stereotj'pers, 
201 William Street, New York. 



%Mt fsi €auints. 



Page 

DEDICATI03N- * 6 

PREFACE 7 

the hour and the man 9 

born hero 14 

gallant loves 15 

the nebraska bison-hunt 18 

the decision 30 

the choice 39 

the south pass 43 

Fremont's peak 47 

TO " BROMUS," ON FREMONT's PEAK 61 

THE cross on rock INDEPENDENCE 54 

THE CANON 60 



[y TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Pa^e 

RUNNING THE CANON G7 

THE STAND AT HAWk's PEAK 73 

A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH 78 

BASIL LAJEUNESSE. A THRENODY 88 

DEFEAT OF THE WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS 91 

THE RIDE OF ONE HUNDRED 101 

CONQUEST ENDED 107 

TO CAPTAIN J. C. FREMONT. FROM THE SPANISH. . 113 

FAREWELL TO " SACRAMENTO" 116 

THE PRAIRIE CAMP 121 

SEQUEL TO THE PRAIRIE CAMP 132 

THE OATH 136 

BACKING OF FRIENDS 139 

CROSSING THE WAHSACH . . 142 

DEFERRED, NOT LOST 145 

RESUME 149 



t^iiaiiau. 



I SPEAK to you, TouisTG Meh ! for ye are strong, 

And, iDeing strong, ye should De merciful, 
And WISE withal, to hattle against wrong 

That so the downfall of her citadel 
Mar not the pillared fanes where true hearts throng, 

And sacred memories veiled in silence dwell. 
Gleanas of a Life, like watchfires on our hills, 

Throhs of a heart that dared what man may dare, 
Who conquered hut to save, and bowed stern wills 

^y pi"ty, teaching triumph to forhear — 
These are my Song — our Hope — and the Despair 

Of anarch Misrule ; — let them he to you 
As glorious banners in the storm-rent air — 

As pulses of new life, heroic, calm, and true. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries 



http://archive.org/details/signalfiresontra1856burl 



xtintt. 



If any open this Volume who have not read some one of 
the Lives of Fremont, the writer can only desire that 
they would do so, first of all, and then return to these 
pages with a witness, which will compel them to confess 
that poetic en'-husiasm has not carried him beyond the 
record. 

The Life of a public man is our possession, for good or 
'11 ; and where it seems preeminently for good, as with the 
case in hand, there is something more than propriety in 
making use of it. 

It is believed that the passing of the momentary interest 
which has brought the name of Frem(jnt before us, will 
not diminish the permanent value which it bears for all, 
and especially for the young, who are just entering the 
ranks in the rigid Battle of Life. 

These Poems are offered at this time, not only for the 
perennial excellence of the Subject, but equally for the 
vital interest of the Moment. The crisis before us is one 
which puts a new aspect on the whole political world. 
The Scholar, the Poet, the Plowman, the Man of Business, 
and the Man of Leisure, have all an interest visibly at 
stake; and all seem conscious of the vitality of that 
interest. 



Viii PEEFAOE. 

No mere political question ever lias called out, hor per- 
haps ever can call out, sucli an array of combined moral 
and mental forces, as tliat wMcli lias already taken the 
field for National Regeneration; and the tide seems only 
at mid-flood. 

If this writer could flatter himself that his effort would 
in some degree swell the tide-waves of that setting flood, 
and strengthen the force that would repel the aggressions 
of Slavery, he could easily forego the hope of a permanent 
value in his work, or any concern for the criticism of non- 
combatant friends, who fancy that to crush the aggressive 
element of Slavery touches not its vitality ; as if its very 
essence was not aggression. 

The success or failure of the present movement will not 
reach the heroic worth of the subject, nor the permanent 
character of the most of these Poems ; where the exigen- 
cies of the case have crowded the task of a longer period 
into some fourteen days — but to our Country the question 
is of vast importance. The success which Freedom has a 
right to expect, at the hands of her lovers, will be the 
turning-point in the long history of her disasters — hence- 
forth to become the story of her steady and unceasing 
progress toward perfect victory. 

In the faith that such is the crisis, and the hope that 
these gleams from a noble life may add one ray to the new 
dawn, they are flung out, and committed to their fate, by 



SIGNAL FUES. 



THE HOUR AND THE MAN. 

There are times of bodeful peril, in the story of 

a Land, 
When the shadow of some awful doom reels, like 

the dial-hand 
Of Ahaz, back in darkness across its glory's path, 
No more a sign of promise, but Jehovah's frown 

of wrath. 

r 

As the earth's white blood sinks, curdling, from 
veined fount and well. 

When the cramps of earthquake spasms her in- 
ward anguish tell, 



10 THE HOUE AND THE MAN. 

So the full heart of a people, with a moment's 

fearful hush, 
Predicts the moral tempest and the passion's 

whirlwind rush 

Wo worth the hope of nations, if in that awful 
hour 

They read not well the judgment signs that darkly- 
round them lower ; 

And wo, if, when the storm is come upon the 
drifting realm, 

A brave right-hand, like iron, hold not the shud- 
dering helm ! 

No stripling's milky fingers, in tender nonage soft, 

May nail the nation's banner where the tempest 
howls aloft ; 

No graybeard's old and palsied hand, that shakes 
his life-sands faster. 

May grasp the helm, and o'er the waves ride reg- 
nant, as their master ! 

But the nerves of fiery Manhood, in many a dan- 
ger tried. 



THE IIOUE AND THE MAN. H 

With the quick blood of young valor, to the cahn 

of years allied, 
With the hero's eagle glances, and the sage's 

thoughtful face, 
Mark the Leader called by Providence to peril's 

lofty place. 

We are drifting on the breakers, where the whiten- 
ing water rolls, 

And the beat of hearts prophetic as a solemn surf- 
bell tolls ; 

While the yeasty wrath of millions that warring 
passions urge, 

Boils under, and breaks round us — a Maelstrom's 
fickle surge. 

Thank God ! the land is rousing, like a giant from 

its sleep ; 
Heart leaps to heart responsive, " deep answering 

to deep ;" 
The pulses of Humanity have swelled the civic 

veins, 
And a cry of " Freedom !" thunders from the 

mountains and the plains. 



12 THE HOUR AND THE MAN. 

Thank God ! that whiie the Hour is struck, we 

have the living Man 
To bear our eagle banner against the spoiler's 

van, 
Strong hand to wield the wavering helm, warm 

heart, and coolest brain, 
Heroic Sage, wise Hero^ — a crowned soul again ! 

Bold Nursling of the Mountains that rear the 

brave and free. 
Our nation's periled fortunes are, under God, with 

thee ; 
Our earthly hope is in thee by a rescued People 

called. 
Strong in their true hearts round thee, in a living 

fortress walled. 

Ah, wo ! if through our blindness, or the hope of 

sin's reward. 
We see not in thy coming the finger of the Lord ; 
Then darker, and yet darker, along our downward 

track. 
Must gloom our night of ruin, till we strike the 

solid black ! 



THE HOUR AND THE MAN. 13 

But no ! a nation's fiat is going forth to-day, 

" Thus far, oh, human bondage, and here thy 

waves must stay ; 
We have lifted up our banner, that, like a tongue 

of flame. 
Calls Fremont to the victory, with Freedom in 

his name /" 



BORN LEADER. 



Great souls are tlieir own fate, and but the strong 

Are the pre-destined : in a conquerless 

And wise Will works the magic of success ; 
Tower-high invites the lightning, mountain-high 
Soars above thunder in a cloudless sky, 

And spreads below the mining sap of wrong. 

Such is the Hero on whose brows belong 
The regal wreaths of natural sovereignty, 

Around whose footsteps well the springs of Song, 
And whose calm paths are steep with majesty. 
Climb there who will, they can not hold him back ; 

His eye is upward, and his foot is firm ; 
He rears wronged Honor to his eagle track. 

And dates anew old Right's expiring term. 



GALLANT LOVES, 



We love the Lover who dares to love 

High beauty by peril guarded ; 
Your fabled Dragon, whose jaws are rough 
With serrate fangs below and above, 
Or the proud sire's wrath — a sterner stuff ! 

Has spurr'd him, but not retarded. 

We love the Beauty whose heart is true 

To a Hero yet unlaureled, 
The old affection, to kindred due, 
Still dear, but holier yet the new 
That buoys her up — and has borne her through, 

Though rival empires quarreled ! 



IQ GALLANT L0YE8. 

Our hearts throb luminous as a star, 
To gladden " Lord Ullin's Daughter ;" 

Like his steed they leap with " young Lochinvar," 

And exult as the Viking's keel afar 

His foes' " black hulk," with a thunder-jar. 

Drives down through the night-" black water." 

But a better triumph earns the meed 

Of his nobler praise, who, rather. 
By the wise man's word, and the hero's deed, 
Can twine with olive his Spartan reed, 
And, led by Beauty, can conquer and feed 

The Pride of an angry father ! 

Then give us one cheer for old Romance, 

Wild riding with wilder chases. 
One round for the victor's spur and lance ; 
But peals, redoubled to heaven's expanse. 
With our Leader's name, till the white clouds dance ; 

And a three-times-three for Jessie's ! 

Ah, Beauty's eye in its love-light hath 

Some gleam of a gift prophetic ; 
She knew the valor that dared the wrath 



GALLANT LOVES. 17 

Of Power and Honor, could find a path 
To both, unawed by peril and scath, 
Unallured by lights erratic. 

By her own worth, which his worth could win, 

She crowned him as very worthy ; 
And thy Hearts, oh, grateful Land ! begin 
To echo her voice, with a choral din, 
With the old man's pride and her love mixed in 

The shout that is pealing o'er thee ! 

Ah, never may gallant loves know shame : 

True-heart the true heart blesses, 
We hail the Lovers with glad acclaim, 
Whose white love conquers untouched of blame — 
Then a double cheer for our Leader's name ! 

And three times three for Jessie's ! 



THE NEBRASKA BISON HUNT 



In the Camp of the bold Pathfinder 

The morning fires are burning, 
And bearded men, knelt round them, 

The beechen spits are turning ; 
A savory steam is clouding 

The keen air of the dawn ; 
Their eager nostrils snuflf it in, 
And white through the shaggy moustache grin 
The expectant teeth of the Creole man. 
And the wiry, swart Canadian, 

Around the camp-fires drawn. 

From the far-off western mountains 
The winds come, hissing and cold, 



THE NEBRASKA BISON HUNT. jg 

Though over the eastern levels run 
The fluid fires of a July sun, 
Across the prairie, sere and dun, 
Flashing in purple and gold. 

Sun-rayed, the bright Helianthus 

Is turning tow^ard its God, 
And its million golden blossoms 

To the rising Splendor nod. 
The clumps of the tough Artemisia, 

With their wiry twigs intwined, 
Turn white like the ocean breakers, 

In the ruffling western wind. 
And a healthful odor of camphor and fir. 
Is loosed by the silvery leaflets' stir, 
That fills the air as a censer of myrrh 

In the gorgeous fanes of Indj 
The weary voyageurs drink the balm. 
And the breath they breathe is full and calm, 

With the vigor it leaves behind. 

Far off, in the glow of the sunrise, 

In threads of a hazy blue, 
The smoke of the Pawnee wigwams 



20 THE NEBRASKA BISON fltJNT. 

Has dimmed their homeward \dew ; 
But their hearts are with their Leader, 

Whom the Mountain Spirits call 
To find the Path of Empire 

Across their rocky wall ; 
And their faces are set westward 

To the ever-deepening wild, 
Where the serpent lurks in wood and fen, 
With savage beasts and savage men, 
And cataracts thunder down the glen, 
Where winds their path on slippery jags. 
Round cavernous pits, over toppling crags. 

And down the rocks in ruin piled. 

Rich " humps" of the roasted bison. 

Before that hungry crew, 
With cans of the fragrant " Java," 

Have vanished like the dew. 
With the first blush of the dawning. 

The young Day's virgin glow, 
They had loosed the picketed horses, 

And let the oxen go 
To graze by the Shallow River, 

And drink of its limpid flow. 



THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 21 

Now hark, to the voice of the Leade 

They joyfully obey — 
" My lads ! I have seen the promise 

Of a gallant ride to-day ; 
Ho ! saddle the fiery hunters, 

My lightning-shod Proveau, 
And a brace for my brave riders, 

We'll charge the buffalo ! 
Keep v^^atch and ward, my trusty men, 
For the steeds may break to the herd agen. 
Or meet, anear some woody glen. 

The Pawnee Loup's lasso. 

" Come on ! my gallant Maxwell ; 

I hear the sullen roar 
Of a herd that darkens all the plain, 
A murmur as of the windy main 

Far off on a rocky shore : 
Come on ! my true Kit Carson ; 

Pve lads more brawny and tall. 
But the crack of that trusty rifle 

Proclaims the victim's fall. 
We three will ride together, 

Hurled on that grazing herd, ' 



22 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 

Like a triple bolt of thunder 
From the talons of Jove's Bird. 

" Charge over the broad Nebraska, 
With scarcely the fetlocks wet ; 
And slowly up against the gale, 
That else might whisper them the tale 
Of a coming foe, we'll take the trail, 
And spot the fairest yet !" 

Right over the broad Nebraska, 

With scarcely the fetlocks wet. 
They dashed, and slowly up the plain. 
With steeds impatient of the rein. 
Drew nigh, some vantage-ground to gair 
Ere to the hills the startled train 
In a roaring flood-tide set. 

By Heaven ! it was a goodly view 
That opened on their sight ! 

As far as eye could pierce the blue. 

From all that waving plain, it drew 
A terrible delight ! 

One boundless sea of murmuring life 



THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 23 

Along the prairie lay, 
With here and there a whirl of strife, 

Of the shaggy bulls in fray — 
An eddy of battle, roaring loud 
Above the hum of the moving crowd, 

With the white dust for its spray. 

Far to the north the dusky tide 

Rolled on the purple hills ; 
And thronging down the river-side, 
It seemed the river itself they dried. 
As it crept, along its channel wide. 

In a thousand trickling rills. 

They paused but a breathless moment 

Before that grand array. 
When rang the voice of the Leader 

So proudly they obey — 
'' Hurrah ! the deep tide wavers ! 

They have snuffed the coming foe ; 
Like billow on heaving billow. 

Their refluent surges flow. 
Far off they have caught the terror, 

And louder, and more loud. 



24 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 

Swells up the sea-like murmur, 
As toward the hills they crowd. 

Now pick your game, Kit Carson*! 
Yon huge dun cow is mine ; 

Now, gallant Maxwell, pick your game ; 

With a ringing yell, and a rush like flame. 
We'll break the roaring line !" 

Untouched by the goading rowels, 

With only the rein let go, 
Like the plunge of a swooping eagle 

Flew fiery-eyed Proveau. 
Kit Carson's snorting charger 

Rained down his hoofs like hail ; 
But the steed of gallant Maxwell 

Blazed by like a comet's tail! 

For a moment, as an army 

Charged fiercely front and flank, 

The dense mass reeled and wavered. 
From surging rank to rank ; 

In a moment, gulfing inward. 
They bared a narrow pass. 

Where, as the bold pursuers rushed, 



THE NEBirASKA BISON HUNT. 25 

The shaggy brutes, together crushed, 

Rolled bellowing on the grass — - 
Brute over brute piled on the plain, 
As away, like a desert hurricane, 
Swept all the roaring mass ! 
A rumbling earthquake shook the ground. 
Where the cloudy path of their multitudes wound, 
And the clash of their horns was like the sound 
Of a battle-field, when swords rebound 

From bucklers and helms of brass. 

Upright for a single moment. 

The Leader's figure proud. 
Was seen, with his leveled rifle. 

In a dusty thunder-cloud. 
The fire of his deadly rifle 

Rang down the wild retreat, 
And the dun cow, fierce and shaggy. 

Lay lifeless at his feet. 
But away like a hungry tiger — 

His nostrils snorting flame, 
And his eyeballs fiercely flashing— 

That Hunter charged the game. 
The wild bulls turned to gore him^ 



26 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 

With their dust and anger blind, 
But lightly over them with a bound, 
He bore his rider, safe and sound, 
Or eagerly on, like a swift bloodhound, 
For a better prey he swept away, 

And left them far behind. 
Oh, a gallant steed was fleet Proveau, 
Who knew his Rider as heroes know 
The Demigods they meet below — 

By a sympathy of mind ! 

At home in the thickest perils, 

The dauntless Mountaineer, 
With a hand that never trembled 

From the fiery flask, nor fear. 
Sent death to the plunging monsters 

Along his wild career, 
Till, unaware, from either hand, 
Rushed, from the cloud-enveloped band, 
A fierce twain, terrible and grand. 

Full on his front and rear! 
Reeled the wild charger, vaulting high, 
With something like a human cry 
When terror blends with agony ; 



. THE NEBRASKA BISOISr HUNT. 27 

Shunning the deadly thrust, 
Aside he plunged from either wound, 
And horse and rider, with one wild bound, 

Went headlong to the dust ; 
While dashing together as rock to rock, 
The mad brutes met with a stunning shock, 

And rolled in death on the gory sod, 

A double prize, by the gift of God, 
To the periled rider just. 

Up rose the Guide from his stirrup freed, 
Up rose, with a leap, his treacherous steed, 
And dashed away, with a frighted speed. 
Where the choking cloud and the sullen roar 
W^ere all that told, in a moment more. 
His path, and theirs who had gone before. 

" By Heaven !" cried Maxwell, leaping 
From his game to his courser fleet, 

" I'll bring you a steed, Kit Carson, 
You stand but ill on feet !" 

Away, away, like a shooting star, 

He flashed and dashed, with a " Hip ! hurrah !" 

Right after the trembling thunder-jar, 



28 THE NEBEASKA BISON HUNT. 

A moment seen, then, lost, afar 

In the dust-cloud rolling black ; 
And ere the first-drawn bison's hide 
In the blazing sun grew crisp and dried, 
Slowly over the brown hill-side, 
By the glittering rein to his saddle tied, 
He brought the fugitive back. 

In the Camp of the bold Pathfinder 
Was food enough that day. 

And the voyageurs felt their Leader 
A Power in their perilous way. 

Where danger itself was a pastime, 
And the battle of Life a play ! 



We have called him for our Leader 
In the charge on a fiercer foe. 

That forth to the shallow Nebraska 
Rolls on, with a darker flow. 

Than ever rolled the sea-like swell 
Of the herded buffalo ! 

On the bounding pulse of a People's heart. 



THE NEBRASKA BISON HUNT. 29 

We'll bear him to his nobler part, 

As on his proud Proveau ; 
And the charging cry of our host shall be 
One long, loud shout, from sea to sea, 
" Free men, Fremont and Victory ! 

Charge ! and God speed it so 1" 



THE DECISION. 



The Explorer's tents stood, dim by night, 
Beneath the guns of Laramie, 

Whose guarded walls of gleaming white. 

The last defense of civil right, 
Clove the red sea of savagery. 
To bare a pathway for the free. 

Through thick'ning perils, day by day. 

Along the broad Nebraska's side, 
The hardy band had kept their way. 
That toward the gates of sunset lay, 
Where far and wide, in hoary pride. 
High Heaven the Titan hills defied. 



THE DECISION. 32 

An atom, on the Prairie's sea, 

Whose rocky shore no eye could span, 
Where savage wolf, and Wolf-Pawnee, 
Like rav'ning sharks roved, fierce and free — 
With loaded wain, mule, horse, and man, 
Slow moved the westering caravan. 

Still lengthening out, a thousand miles 
Of hill and rock and desert track, 

To wife's caress, and infant's smiles, 

To vine arcades, and garden aisles. 
Stretched far aback, behind the black 
Night bastions of this bivouac. 

" Return !" the home-bound Hunter cried, 

Plis ranks in savage battle torn ; 
" On desert wilds our steeds have died. 
Our brothers fallen by our side. 

Our Leader, borne in death, we mourn ; 

Back, ere your widows wail forlorn !" 

'^ Waugh ! Long Knives ! to your lodges back ! 
But once the Bell-snake's'^ warning rings ; 

* " Serpent t SonnetteSj" the Eattlesnake. 



32 '^HE DECISION, 

No grass along your further track ; 

Your beasts will fall, your pulses slacks 
By dusty springs, where lurks and stings 
The serpent with invisible wings !" 

The wily Indian's snaky eye 

Ran down the lines, with such a smile 
As bodes no good— who dashing by, 
Spoke thuSj and waited no reply ; 
A little while, and many a mile 
Concealed that riddling Priest of guile. 

" Alas !" the terror-smitten cried, 

" For us there will be life no more ; 
A sea of peril, far and wide, 
Surrounds our band, on every side, 
And all before without a shore, 
It darkens, red with human gore !" 

" Return ! beloved of God and man, 
Tempt not too far a jealous Fate !" 

In sooth the very Braves began 

To feel that timid flutter fan 

Their hearts, with great Designs elate^ 
To thoughts that owned them desperate. 



THE DECISION. 33 

Not SO tlie Leader ! calm and stern, 
And star-like in his deep blue eye, 
Fixed Resolution seemed to burn, 
Where even the weakest heart might learn 
A couraoe hiph, that dared to die 
For Duty, but would never fly. 

" Return who will return, I go !" 

He said, and Westward tossed his hand. 

" No limbs that quake before a foe, 

No timid heart of forest doe, 

Shall shame the Band that opes the grand 
Rock portals of this Western Land ! 

" Return who will return ! but you 

Who march with me, for life or death, 
Strike tent and harness ! ere the dew 
Quit yonder blooms of red and blue." 
Light moment hath a little breath. 
Against a Hero's heart and faith ! 

They shout ! they leap ! no time to sit. 
No thought to turn again, nor stop ; 

Down fall the tents like birds alit, 

2^- 



34 THE DECISION. 

And steeds are champing at the bit ; 
One parting sup, the " stirrup-cup," 
Then to the river, on, and up ! 

" Hold, Brothers ! lo, the speaking Leaf." 
And round the Leader of our band 

Rushed many a tall and stalwart chief, 

With greeting thus abrupt and brief, 

And outstretched hand, which meant command, 
Though tempered with their smiling bland. 

Adorned with gaudy paint and plumes, 

And arrows of the Porcupine, 
Their garments, rank with musky fumes. 
Had taxed no palpitating looms — 

Yet tall and fine, they seemed divine 

As swar V 2:ods of Woden's line. 

Chief oi the chiefs, in silence sat 

Breaker-of-ArxH.ows, stout and grim, 
Black-Night thick browed, and Otter-Hat 
The vain, and Bull's-Tail, plumed with that. 
In sooth, to him, as fair and trim 
As " Horsetails" to the Musselim ! 



THE DECISION. 

" Return," the White Leaf said, " return ! 
These Chiefs your onward march forbid. 
Their Braves have gone to scalp and burn. 
And none may 'scape their vengeance stern : 
As well the kid might hope to thrid 
The lair-paths where the wolves are hid." 

" Wot God," a hoary Sachem said, 

" We love you well, and are right glad 
To greet you, but upon your head 
May fall the blood your kinsmen shed ; 
The time is bad, our warriors, mad, 
Will bide no check, till blood be had. 

" Go to our father's house in peace, 
And tell him we are poor and bare- — 

That in good gifts this hate will cease, 

For he is rich in all increase, 

And in his care our tribes shall fare, 
As fits the sire whose sons we are." 

So spake the Chief in wiles expert, 

And thus our dauntless Heart replied : 
" Small sway your reverend lips assert, 



35 



36 "^HE DECISION. 

If whom you love your own dare hurt ! 
We ask a guide, and are denied ; 
What love is that— ^oo weak to ride ! 

" We will not hear your double tongue ; 

Ye are our father's sons no more ; 
We heard your evil fame, among 
The dove-cotes, by the swallows sung ; 
And now with gore, it darkens o'er 
Our vision, redder than before. 

" Our youths are tutored to obey ; 

We hear the words our Old Men speak ; 
They bade us track descending Day 
Across the mountain's rocky way, 
His bed to seek — and you^ too weak 
To ride or rule, what boots your check ? 

" We've thrown our bodies to the gales, 

And we will not turn back, nor swerve ! 
And many a lodge will ring with wails, 
And many a youth sleep on their trails, 
If once they nerve our hands, to serve 
The vengeance evil deeds deserve. 



THE DECISION. 37 

" If fall we must, as fall we may, 

Your grief will join the loud ' Alas !' 

Our father's wrath, in one red day, 

Will sweep your villages away, 

A smoking mass, like prairie grass, 
When the swift fires of autumn pass !" 

He spoke, and down the ready line 

A cheer of answering courage ran. 
The faintest heart's-blood flashed like wine, 
As the waved hand's advancing sign 
Led oiT the van — and, horse and man, 
On moved the westering caravan. 

The gloomy Chiefs, with silent awe, 

And hearts that inly cheered the Brave, 

His dauntless mien and action saw, 

And felt his fiery soul as law : 

Ere day's spent wave its shores could lave, 
Sped to his camp the Guide they gave ! 



Thus he unlocked the Mountain Gate ; 
And the proud trophy of Success 



38 THE DECISION. 

Wrung from the niggard hand of Fate, 
Till jealous nations named him Great ; 
And realms no less, shall rise, to bless 
His memory, in the wilderness ! 



THE CHOICE 



Heaven's horologe points forward on its way, 
To-morrow's simrise brings not back to-day. 
The hour once struck shall never strike agen, 
For laggard nations nor the souls of men. 

Once in a life, it may be once alone. 
Comes the stern fiat, " Do, or be undone !" 
The hour, the moment, when a single word 
Will strike the doom-bell, once forever heard 
That rings a Hero to his golden crown, 
Or to oblivion tolls the Dastard down. 



40 THE CHOICE. 

Whatever sod his after steps may beat, 
They tread the pathway of that hour's defeat, 
Or, through the windings of unfathomed time, 
To the full measure of its triumph climb. 

No seeming fortune's momentary smile, 

That crowns his brow with sunshine for a while. 

Though giddy fools rush in with joys elate 

To catch the golden droppings of his fate, 

Shall ripen laurels at a glorious goal, 

For him once branded " Craven," in his soul. 

No seeming failure's supercilious frown, 
That dims the daystar of his first renown. 
Till his dark path is veiled in utter gloom, 
Where boding ravens croak the v/ords of doom- 
While hearts of fear, and base-born parasites, 
Fly from the dark, and flit round lovi^er lights — 
Can stain the splendors of his aureole. 
Once written " Hero" on his living soul. 

Since the bright stars that chronicle our fates 
Only right forward swing their golden gates. 
And souls, once gone on their returnless track, 
What good they left, forevermore shall lack — 



THE CHOICE. 41 

With this great hope, the nobler lives they live 
Thenceforth, may win some bliss compensative — 
Since erring nations, in an evil way 
Can only speed to premature decay, 
And to-day's guerdon must be won to-day- — 
Old graves are vocal, and the whirlpool-rocks 
Wreck-beaconed murmur o'er their thunder-shocks, 
The solemn voices of the immortal dead, 
And the wild moan of wasted lives, ill-sped, 
Swell the deep warning of the living Seer, 
Choose well to-day your unrevoked career ! 

Now is the Crisis ; the dead Past is gone, 
And the swift Present seals her page anon ; 
This moment's action plants the good or ill 
That, ages hence, will flourish greenly still. 

And if to-day we reap the bitter tares 

Our fathers sowed, self-willed or unawares, 

With more hot earnest speaks the warning voice 

To snatch this moment's unreturning choice, 

To strike the furrow by the rigid line 

Of human rights, which are indeed " divine," 

And fling broad-handed, over all the plain, 



42 THE CHOICE. 

The golden seeds of truth and right again — 

Freedom for all — the inviolable cot, 

With its free fields, a consecrated spot. 

And a broad charter for excursive thought 

To seek new truth, and speak the truth she sought. 

So the great Future may not learn to curse 

A niggard toil that cultured bad to worse ; 

But bless the hands that to her children gave 

A teeming glebe unblighted by a slave, 

And the fair boon of souls who dare to be 

What God would have them, fearless, true, and free. 



THE SOUTH PASS. 



'Tis but the opening step that costs, 

For labor, love, or laurel ; 
With corn that dared the vernal frosts 

The autumnal never quarrel. 
The Rubicon of Laramie, 

Passed bravely by the ranger, 
None doubted then his foot to see 

Victorious over danger. 

And, now the mighty goal is won — 
That Portal of the Mountains, 

Where forth to either ocean run 
The floods of rival fountains — 



44 THE SOUTH PASS. 

No rugged rocks' gigantic mass, 

• No fathomless abysses, 
Confound the vasty mountain-pass. 
With horrent precipices. 

By endless slopes of climbing plain, 

O'er-starred with blooming Asters, 
The foot, unconscious of its strain. 

The towering summit masters : 
Ascent as easy to subdue, 

When on the way the will is. 
As up your glorious Avenue, 

The Capitolian Hill is ! 

The Gallant who has climbed that steep. 

And many a summit harder. 
From Jes^ie-mine-bowered Lover's-Leap, 

To snowy-gulfed Nevada, 
May lightly reach this spot of earth, 

Where gleams Ambition's tower — 
Just stepping, from the top of Worth, 

Down on the top of Power. 

Through perils from the savage foe, 
And kindly hearts unstable, 



THE SOUTH PASS. " 45 

From dastard souls who would not go, 

And weak who were unable, 
We've reached the Southern Pass, at last, 

Star-flowered with better promise, 
And if we will, we'll soon have passed, 

Where Slavery's floods roll from us ! 

Up then, ye dauntless freemen, on ! 

Track close your dauntless Master ; 
We've crossed the fateful Rubicon, 

To victory or disaster. 
This day the nation's noblest hopes 

Hang trembling in the balance. 
Up ! charge the level Pass, that opes 

The broad Free West, my Gallants ! 

While now the finger of Events 

Though tremulous, like the needle, 
Points only North, out from your tents, 

In squadrons millipedal ! 
And march for Freedom's Mountain-door, 

Where Slavery's flood rolls from us. 
And living fountains flash, that pour 

Down all our Land of Promise. 



46 THE SOUTH PASS. 

Thus only can we reach that hight 

Which towers aloft supremely, 
Where truth is law, and right is might, 

Far seen before us, dimly. 
Then on ! and He who bore his flag 

Across the Mountain's Portal, 
Will bear up ours, as o'er his crag, 

To Freedom's Peak immortal. 



FREMONT PEAK. 



THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 



Aloft in naked grandeur towered 

The A^ast Cathedral of the Hills, 
High peaks that would have quelled the coward 

To look upon their pinnacles. 
Sheer over all, with awful front. 

Not yet baptized in brave sweat-drops 
Of its High Priest, the " Peak Fremont" 

Looked down on all the mountain-tops. 

Far up, its skeleton white hand, 

In glitter of eternal snow, 
Caught the young Morning's flaring brand, 

And flung it to the hills below. 



48 FREMONT PEAK. 

In the keen quivering of the light, 
Might seem its rigid arm to wave, 

Repellant in the weak heart's sight, 

But beckoning up the strong and brave. 

Ten thousand years of flood and fire. 

Of earthquake and of hurricane. 
That fleshiess Arm, no time could tire, 

Had beckoned for its Man in vain. 
Sometimes the Indian's fiery eye 

Par off, its morning signal saw. 
But strange, weird voices in the sky. 

Low muttering, turned him back in awe ! 

The Builders of the mighty Mounds, 

Who laid those fingers on the lips 
Of their Land's Secret, heard the sounds, 

And saw that towering fiend eclipse 
The downward Sun, their glorious God, 

Ages before — and flying far. 
Piled for his grave the wintry sod. 

And died beneath their fatal star. 

Ten thousand years of mellowing change, 
Of rain, and sun, and greening grass, 



FEEMONT PEAK. 49 

Of eagle-flight, and wild beast's range. 
That towering Peak had seen to pass ; 

But waved its fleshless arm in vain. 
For ages, since the world began ; 

Till now, in Freedom's latest reign, 

The unwearying Call has found its Man ! 

Aloft with Freedom's meteor flag — 

In hands like his redeemed from shame— 
Fie scales the mountain's dizzying crag. 

Clinging and climbing like a flame ! 
Right up ! a thousand feet below, 

The deep lake glitters like a star, 
Up ! through the everlasting snow, 

Beyond the storm-line's icy scar. 

Up ! where the eagle scarce could stand ! 

Till his unerring foot has trod 
The loftiest cliff that heaves its hand 

Between its mountain-throne and God. 
Beneath his foot the thin spire quakes. 

Like a tali cedar in the blast ! 
'Tis the old Mountain's hand that shakes 

The welcome Hero's hand at last ! 



50 FREMONT PEAK, 

Sheer down, a hundred fathoms dread, 

On the broad shoulders of the Cliff, 
He sees the royal ermine spread, 

Like some proud Sultan's, jewel-stiff; 
And round their awful Monarch's knees, 

The mountain Peers, with all their woods, 
And far, on either hand, he sees 

The Cradle of the mighty Floods. 

Like a wild meteor in the sky, 

Outgleams the banner of his land, 
As with a loud, exulting cry, 

He gives it to that fleshiess Hand ! 
A symbol on the eternal hills. 

That all below them should be free. 
As that free-mountain shout, that thrills 

Down all the slopes to either sea ! - 



TO "BROIUS," ON FREMONT'S PEAK. 

ALOFT 13,570 FEET. 



Yellow-coated little Hero ! 
Bold explorer of the hills ! 
Do you look for daffodils, 
Lily-blooms, and purple flags — ■ 
With the mercury at zero — 
On these barren, icy crags ? 

What has sent you, lonely Rover, 
Far away from meadow slopes, 
Columbine and heliotropes ? 



52 TO "BEOMUS." 

Reveler in sunny light, 
And the sunny banks of clover, 
Why your wild and weary flight 1 

Is it possible Ambition 

Harbors in your little soul, 
Eager for the highest goal — 
Doing what no other can ? 
Pretty, miniature edition 

Of the sateless heart of man ! 

" Humble ?" so I hear you cited ; 
But, between yourself and me, 
Boy ! if youhe a humhle-hee 
I have not the wit to guess 
Where a proud one would have 'lighted, 
In our little wilderness ! 

But I may divine what meaneth 
This my witty fellow speaks. 
Up among the chilly peaks ; 
That a steady, sunward flight, 
Though it may not split the zenith^ 
Finds a very noble hight ; 



TO ^'13K0MUS." 53 

That the Eagle and the Vulture 

Are not all who mount the sky * 
So " unutterably high ;" 
But that any little chap 
May, if true to pith and culturOj 
Put that feather in his cap ! 



THE CROSS ON ROCK INDEPENDENCE 



Best Hero is best Man in every sphere ; 

The noblest soul is always meek and just ; 
Its pride, that tramples upon human fear, 

And treads down peril as the common dust, 

Is the calm nursling of a lowly Trust ; 
For he whose faithful spirit walks with God, 

Soars above terror and unworthy lust. 
And will not wield, nor suffer, the base rod 
Of tyrant power that makes Humanity a clod. 

No pompous Braggart's egoistic " I," 

In his small worth and over-swollen conceit ; 
No blatant ruffian, who can pitch more high 



OKOSS.ON ROCK INDEPENDENCE. 55 

His threatful clamor than the valorous beat 
Of his fierce heart ; nor he whose fears defeat 
More than injustice or an evil deed, 

May dare to front the Future's judgment-seat 
And claim the name of Hero for his meed : 
The paths of inward peace to outward grandeur 
lead. 

High natures are alle giant to a Higher, 

And looking upward teaches them to climb. 

The soul that has no God, nor altar-fire, 
Must grovel coldly in the barren slime 
Of selfish pride, or at the flames of crime 

Warm the thick blood to false enthusiasm ; 
But Faith makes even our feebleness sublime, 

And, bridging Death, leaps every narrower chasm. 
And turns to new Life's flight the last convulsive 
spasm ! 

The Heroes 'balmed in everlasting song 

By the great Past, w^ho drew from fearful odds 

New strength, for sterner conflict with the wrong, 
Fought for their Country and their Household 
Gods ; 



56 CKOSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE, 

The laurel, grown on all their battle sods, 
Hung round the Altar with their dinted arms ; 

And he who sang in golden periods, 
" Arras and the Man," with ^' pious, ^' crowned 
the charms 
Of his heroic worth in council and alarms. 

Nor shall this age, whose better faith demands 
More strict devotion, lack heroic men 

Who will not blush to join victorious hands 
In humble adoration, even then, 
When hot blood urges to the charge agen ! 

So have we seen our laureled Washington, 
Besieging Heaven in some secluded glen, 

On bended knees ; then, armed with fire, anon 
Sweep the red field of War, till victory was won ! 

So have we seen, in years allied to this, 

The bold Pathfinder bowing to the Cross ; 

And heard Detraction's atheistic hiss 

Greet the great Symbol of our Gain and Loss, 
With foul lips' curl, and low head's scornful 
toss. 

As Envy maddened at our Hero's crown. 



CROSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE. 57 

Ah, gallant Soul ! a thousand years may moss 
The sign thou carvedst in thy young renown, 
But ere that fair fame fail, the Rock shall crumble 
down. 

Far in the savage wilds that granite blocks 

From the deep bowels of the mountain hurled, 
Seems, in the grandeur of its barren rock, 
The corner-stone of some unfinished world. 
Huge Mausoleum, with Fame's scroll unfurled 
■ UpOQ its surface, or an altar grand, 

With thunder-clouds for smoke of incense, 
curled 
Above its awful front, where, graven, stand 
The names of brave, great, good, from many a 
rival land. 

While power, and pride, and bounding life were 
theirs. 
They made that Rock their living Monument ; 

And for the strength with which, alone, it dares 
The storms of ages, moveless and unrent, 
Baptized it unto Freedom ; and so blent 

Its name with this young Empire of the West, 



58 CEOSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE. 

Whose " Independence," like that Rock, has 
sent 
Its challenge to the thunder ! and, confest, 
The World's great exiles set their names upon its 
breast. 

Here the young Hero of the mountain peaks, 
Who could have shamed the chamois on his 
Alp, 
When, like a sunrise, he had hung the streaks 
Of our starred Banner on the naked scalp 
Of pinnacled rocks supreme— who knew the 
help 
God lends the daring, in memorial love 

Graved his Redeemer's Cross. The gaunt 
wolf's whelp 
May sn:'rl below it, but heaven smiles above ; 
True hearts of every name, and every creed, ap- 
prove. 

If it were noble, and of worthy fame, 

To bear aloft his country's eagle flag- 
Beyond the eagle's ken, and in her name 
Unfurl it there, upon the topmost crag 



CEOSS ON EOCK INDEPENDENCE. 59 

Of this New World, poised on a splintered jag 
Where never yet the boldest foot had trod, 

Shall bigot' Envy's soul-polluted hag 
Cast dov^n his laurels to the trampled sod, 
For that he laid them all upon the shrine of God ? 

Ah, no ! the symbol of the bannered stars, 

Flung out far up the starry deeps of blue. 
Is freedom for the arms that break the bars 

Of olden Empire, to create the nevv ; 

The holier symbol of the Cross he drew 
On the rock basis of the eternal hills, 

Is freedom for the soul, who dares be true 
In the long martyrdom of mortal ills. 
And many a noble heart that sign with rapture fills ! 



THE CANON. 

I. 

At the roots of the mountains- 
The wreck of a world — 

Where the congregate waters 

Of myriad fountains 
Together are hurled — 

The precipice totters 
With ruinous weighty 

Leaning oyer the river 

That darts with a shiver, 
As of a lashed hound, 

Now, headlong, or never. 
To plunge with a bound 
Through that perilous gate ! 



THE CANON. Ql 

From meadows that offer 

Their sunniest nooks 
To the purple amorpha, 
And flowers without number, 

Gold, azure, and red, 
Multitudinous brooks 

In the low river-bed. 
Like glittering arrows 

Flown home to their quiver. 

Unite in a river. 
One moment to slumber, 
Ere hurled to the narrows 

It rushes in dread. 
With rocks to encumber 

Its turbulent flow, 
And rocks overhead, 

Bowing fearfully low. 

Shot down from its level. 

Clear, sunny, and large, 
Its mirror-like bevel' 

Leans smooth to the rock. 
Though swift as the lightning 

It shoots to its targe. 



52 THE CANON. 

Till, shattered and whitening, 
'Tis crushed by the shock 
Of its thunderous charge. 

Hemmed in by the ledges. 
How fiercely it wedges 

Its terrible path 
To the jaws of that ruin. 
Where, ages on ages, 

It gnawed as it gnaws. 
And raged as it rages, 
Incessantly hewing 

A way for its wrath, 

In those terrible jaws. 

'Tis the shallow Nebraska, 
The limpid Nebraska, 
Now goaded to frenzy, 

Or drunk with the glee 
Of some Sibylline fancy 

Of all it may be. 
Shot down from its level 

Of lifeful repose, 
A jubilant masquer 



THE CAJ^ON 

In carnival madness, 
And frenzy of gladness, 

In roaring and revel, 
The foaming Nebraska — 
The shouting Nebraska, 

Exultingly goes ! 

Ever deeper and deeper, 
As steeper and steeper 

The gulfs of their torment 
Descend like a leaper. 

The waters are piled 

In an eddying mass ; 
And the foam of their ferment 

Ascends in the pass. 
As white, o'er the storm-rent 
Atlantic, the corm'rant 

Goes driftingly wild. 

With a half-timid shiver 
The goat of the ledges 
Peers over their edges, 

And leaps the loud river ; 
Far up in the blue, 



63 



54 THE CANON. 

Flitting by in the sky 
Like a lark to the view, 

Or an animate mote — 
The jaws of that inner 
Gulf's watery Gehenna 

Yawn upward so high 

O'er its cavernous throat. 

Adown the abysses 

The swift river pours ; 
It rustles and hisses, 

It thunders and roars. 
With changiilg and ranging, 

Now hither, now thither — 
Momently sundered 

And tumbled together 
Torn by a hundred 

Impetuous wills, 
Baffled and frantic. 
Amid the gigantic 

Debris of the hills — 
Rushing and winding ; 

Plunging in cataracts. 
Leaping in fountains — 



THE CANON, 65 

So the mad water acts, 
Rending and finding 

A path through the mountains. 

'Twas thus the Nebraska, 
The fettered Nebraska, 

Yet young from the lap 
Of its Titaness Mother — 

Untortured to grind 
In the mill of a Tasker 
As slave to another— 

Nor leaving the sap 
Of its vigor behind 

In the roseate charms 

Of the Prairie's arms- 
Was mighty to snap 

Its mountainous bands, 

And out, with a shout. 
Leap, wild as the clap 

Of the Thunderer's hands ! 

The dark, roaring gap, 
With its precipice cap. 
Where the river-floods fell 



QQ THE CANON. 

• In their mutinous wrath, 
Was the Canon's Gehenna — 

Its watery hell ! 
The smoke of whose torment, 

A nebulous banner — 
Involved, like a cerement, 

The ruinous dell 
That plowed its abysses 

Along in the path 
Of a braver Ulysses 

Than old story hath — 
The eagle-like soarer, 
Bold Chief and Explorer, 

Whose foot1:rod as well 
Over skied precipices, 

, As on the green math 
With his bounding Signora. 



RUNNING THE CANON. 57 



II. 

RUNNING THE CANON 

The Hero, undaunted, 

Turned not on his track ; 
A duty before him, 
And way peril-haunted. 
Far rather would spur him, 
Than hold a rein o'er him, 

Save guidingly slack. 
The hearts of his chosen, 
By terror unfrozen, 
Exultingly panted 

To ride on the back 
Of that wild foaming charger. 

Right down through the roar 
Of the turbulent river — 
By keel of the voyager 

Ne'er cloven before — 
By bold Rider never, 
In gallant endeavor, 

So scourged with the oar. 



63 BUNNING THE CANOH, 

They launched on a bubble ! 

A spacious, tenacious, 
Exotical bubble — 

A thread at the helm 

Of that tenuous film — 
That spun in that trouble 

Of weltering water, 
As spins, for a little, 

A brain-dizzied otter 
Ill-struck by the hunter — 
Then, borne to the middle, 
And finding her center, 

She darted ! she flew ! 

With her dexterous crew, 
Just skimming the wave 

As a rapid sea-mew. 
And shunning her grave 

In the hollows beneath, 
Where the splintering jags 

Would have cloven her through. 
With their terrible teeth ! 

The precipitous crags. 
In the glimmering blue. 



RUNNING THE CA^iJON. Qg 

Flew hurriedly back, 
Like the thunderous rack 

That the hurricanes brew ! 
And sunlight and shadow — 
As over the meadow 

When Taurus is nigh — 
With smiling and weeping 
Unstable and fickle — 

Went troopingly by. 

But more of terrific 

And ruinous power 
Rode, deaf 'ningly sweeping, 

Along with that shower, 
As a cold, clammy trickle 
Dropped down from petrific 

Rock-cumuli o'er them ! 
While round them, and under, 

Above, and before them, 
One Maelstrom of thunder 

Involved them, and bore them ; 
With rapid reef-whit'ning. 

That flashed, intermitting, 



70 BUNNINa THE CA^ON. 

The sun-splendors flitting, 
Shot by for their lightning ! 

With singing and shouting- 
Unheard in the roar, 

Nor fearing nor doubting 
The perils before, 

They flew through the hollow 
Reverberant caves, 

As a tiny clifl'-swallow 
Alone with the waves. 

From the bow of the falls 

Like an arrow they leapt, 
And around in the sliiig 

Of the vortices swept. 
Were hurled to the walls, 

With a perilous fling. 
Like the pebble that leveled 

The Anakim king ; 
But gracefully shunning 

The shock, in a breath, 
They flew where the stunning, 



EUKNING THE CANTON. 71 

Whit^ cataracts reveled ; 
Exultingly running 

Their gauntlet of death ! 

So daring and well, 
With his chosen companions, 
Our braver Ulysses 
Went down the abysses 
The Phlegethon-flood 

Of that watery hell ; 
Went down through the canon's 

Gehenna of waves. 
Till they stood where the blood 

Of immaculate Braves 
Had thrilled with a shiver 
To see the mad river, 

With a death-gurgled note 
Sucked down through the teeth 
Of the black jaws beneath, 

To the fathomless throat 
Of impassable caves. 

! the wilds and abysms, 
Rough danger and toilj 



72 EUNNING THE CANON. 

Are the nurture and soil 
Of sublime Heroisms ! 
And better than war is, 

And better than peace, 
Are the perilous forays 

'Gainst desert and river, 

And stern wilderness ; 
They open the door-ways 

Of future endeavor, 
And challenge the Darkness, 
Close-lipped in its starkness. 

To stand and deliver ! 



THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK, 



" 'TwAS nobly done !" Aye, nobly done ! 

And worthy of the old renown 
Of Plataea and of Marathon— 

To fling the daring gauntlet down, 
To the false leader of a band 

By lying panders stung too well 
To fierce resentments, in a land 

As fair as heaven and false as helL 

He came in peace, for worthy ends. 

To give the secrets of that clime 

To star-eyed Science, still who lends 

The soul new wings for flights sublime ; 
4 . 



74 THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK. 

His weapons were that magic reed^ 

Which plucks the planets from the sky, 

The prisoned Arielf who leads 

The voyager where no path is nigh ; 

The wizard's balance,| fine and thin, 

That weighs the unfathomable air, 
And that pale child^ of Hermes' kin, 

Whose pulses the long throbs declare 
Of the great fire-heart of the world ; 

With more of strange and weird design, 
Whereby the mysteries are unfurled 

That sleep, thin-veiled, in nature's shrine. 

Around him, hardy as the hills. 

His triple score of gallant men. 
Through fire and frost and countless ills, 

In savage haunt, or lonely glen. 
With toil, and chase, and rifle-shot, 

Kept famine and fierce foes at bay ; 
Ha ! toy with hungry wolves, but not 

Provoke the wrath of such as they ! 

* Telescope, t Compass, t Barometer. § Thermometer. 



THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK. 75 

Through every heart, their Leader's heart 

Beat like a pulse of molten steel ; 
Not sooner would their proud steeds dart 

From shaken rein and roweled heel, 
Than these, on Peril's wildest charge, 

At his low word, or silent sign ; 
His brain superb, and spirit large. 

Shone out confest, in storm and shine. 

He came in peace, with welcome given. 

To read the wonders of that land, 
Her flowers and floods, and chasms riven 

Through bald sierras, wild and grand. 
But Treachery, choking back her words, 

Roused the red Indian's eyeless wrath. 
And arming all her mongrel hordes. 

Shook chains and death across his path ' 

Ah, little did the traitor chief 

Who stirred that Mountain Spirit, deem 
That, ere the lengthening days grew brief, 

'T would haunt him like an evil dream ! 
And little could he guess how well 

The hand that |)lucked his 3:olJon flowers. 



76 THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK. 

Could hurl defiance down the dell, 
On all his congregated powers. 

There, on the peak " del Gabellan," 

The Hero's oaken rampart rose, 
Above the towers of San Juan 

Where thronged the legions of his foes. 
There first the sunrise Eagle flew, 

Gold-gleaming, o'er the Land of Gold, 
Full in that mustering army's view, 

And cowered their numbers manifold. 

As some gaunt wolf, that on his prey- 
Descending with an eager dash, 

Finds there the Shepherd's dog at bay, 
And sees the white teeth foam and gnash, 

Reels back, and crouching, circles far, 
Blood-snufhng, and at last slinks oft' — 

So came, so quailed Don Castro's war, 
Before that banner's flouting scoff! 

'Twas nobly done ! against a host 

To hurl their challenge down the hills. 

Free hearts, all round them to the coast, 
LeapL jubilant, with prescient thrills ; 



THE STAND AT HAWK'S PEAK. 77 

Far flashed the sign to distant lands, 
Atlantic cheered it with a roar ; 

And glad Pacific clapped her hands, 
To hail the coming conqueror ! 



Once more roll out thy signal sheet 

For Freedom, on her eminent hight ! 
Our hearts leap up with fiery beat 

To join thee in the moral fight. 
The Prairie wolf shall cower away 

To his swamp lair, thenceforth his gi^ave, 
And rescued Kansas cheer the day 

That saw thy conquering banner wave. 



A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 



When snows have fled from the breath of Spring, 

And the rushing floods leap swollen on — - 
As a jewel set in a mountain ring, 

On the hand of the Giant Oregon — 
Or a star in the dusky night of pines, 
That bright in the sombre foliage shines — 
Or a lover's eye that clear, between 
Dark lash and heavy brow, is seen — 

The Tlamath Lake lies beautiful, 
In the heart of its mighty hills and woods, 

Glassing them well in its waveless lull. 
Or making the mountains, like their floods, 

To leap and quiver, in fields below, 



A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 79 

When its mirror moves with a waving flow, 

As odorous winds- from the forest blow. 

.*■ 
But when the red autumnal sun 

Rolls over the mountains in a veil 

Of purpling mist, that seems to trail 
On the piney slope of each mighty sheaf 
In that great Harvest Field begun 

Among the hills ; when a mellow wail — 
As of young love's delicious grief, 

Or the harp of sorrow, struck with one 

Prelusive note — begins to run 
Through the red arcades of pine, before 
The harsher blasts of the winter pour — 
The waves that roll on the Tlamath Lake 

Are emerald billows of flowing grass ; 
The stag of the hills may come to slake 
His thirst in the river, whose waters break 

The green expanse, with their fluid glass, 
But the smoke of the Indian's domed tent 

Goes up from the smooth savannah's breast, 
As over its sheet of waters went 

The morning mist, when June had kissed 

Their ripples awake with her sweet Southwest. 



80 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 

Lake Tlamath lay like a bridge of light, 

That spanned a fathomless gulf below, 
When the May Moon on its weltering night 

Dissolved, in a silver overflow, 
And adown the pines in flakes of white 

On the tents of the voyageurs shook its snow. 
No paddle disturbed the silent wave ; 

No sound was out in the silent air, 
Save only the whispering tongues that gave 

A weird, low murmur, everywhere, 
A secret that no soul dirines — • 
The mystery of the midnight pines ! 
And save withal the flames' low mutter, 

That seemed as if in vain they strove 
Unutterable things to utter. 

Of the deeps below and the heavens above. 

The Indian of the Tlamath Lake 

Is fierce as savage foe may be, 
Remorseless as the wolves that break 
The corral's hedge, for their famine's sake, 
Yv'hen the herdsman, standing broad awake. 

And the rifle's leveled bead, they see — 
And treacherous as the wily cat — 



A NIGHT BT LAKE TLAMATH. gl 

That spotless Tiger of the West, 
So smooth in her bhick and shining vest, 
So still, through the long reeds gliding flat, 
Till she darts on her helpless victim's breast ! 

His arrows are tipped with English steel. 
Barbed and keen, on a feathered shaft — 
And bound to his wrist, by its polished haft, 

Is an English half-axe hung, to deal 
The nearer blow, when, hand to hand 
And foot to foot, the foemen stand 

In the deadly last appeal. 

But the Tlamath's trail is far away 

From their silvery lake and mountain pines, 
To the hostile south in a fierce foray. 
Or northward with their spears. 
Watching the shoals where the salmon shines 
By the steep Cascades, that whiten the line 
Of their nursing hills, like banners waved 
From feudal towers, for a people saved. 
In the olden lands and years. 

Thus silence reigned in the weary camp, 

Unjarred by the slow and measured tramp 

4# 



82 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 

Of the wakeful sentinel ; 
For the voyageurs all were folded deep, 
In the downy bosom of toil-won sleep. 

And the soldiers slumbered well. 

Fleet couriers from the sunrise land, 

They had brought to the Chief of the mountain 

band, 
Over trackless wilds of steep and glen. 
Through the deadly haunts of savage men, 
Sweet words of Flome ; how doubly sweet 

In the depths of an utter solitude, 
Where the stealthy glide of the Indian's feet, 
Is the only human tread they meet, 

And that is blood-imbrued. 
And came withal a whispered call 

To turn h\n\ back, for a day of need — 
To the golden south, where his gauntlet fell 
At Castro's coward foot so well— 

With a whip in the hand of his eager band 
To scourge the wretch for his miscreant deed, 

When the Hour should strike its bell ; 
And sooth, his steed would make good speed 

With that buoyant hope in sell. 



A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATII. 33 

Not yet the Leader gave his hand 

To the beckoning hand of sweet Repose, 
With her, dreams of home in a sunny land, 

Beyond the whoop of savage foes. 
With a slow and cautious tread, he went, 

Between the camp-fires and the dark, 
Where the flickering flames, far outward, sent 
The huge pine shadows, reeling and bent. 

Like wrestling giants, grim and stark ; 
And he saw them leap from tent to tent, 

With their ghostly arms flung up in air, 
As if their frenzied play were meant 

To warn him back from a peril there, 
Or so to find some silent vent 

For a great and dumb despair. 

All round the Camp his ear and eye 

Caught every motion, and every sound ; 
The whispering flames, and the solemn sigh 
Of the pine-tops, where the winds went by 

In their everlasting round ; 
The creeping stir of the bristling leaves 
Where a breath would dance their quivery sheaves. 
The moan of the waters that came to break 



84 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 

On the reedy marge of the, Mooned Lake, 
And a low, faint murmur, everywhere. 

From the deeps of pine to the Tlamath's verge, 
As if the spirits who hovered there, 
Were singing, to a love-lorn air, 

The prelude of a solemn dirge ! 

Such fancies are feeble to awe the brave ; 

He heeds no murmur of wood or wave 

Who trembles not at a w^ar-whoop's yell — - 

The silence of the untrodden wild, 

And the trust of nature's simple child — • 

The steed, quick-eared— who is prompt to tell 
The lurking of foes — said, " All is well !" 

Calm in assurance the Leader went 
And sat at the door of his open tent. 

In the light of the whispering flames ; 
And over the page in silence bent, 

That bore his treasured Names — 
And whose simple words had power to roll 

The broad expanse, with its mountain chains. 

And deserts and woods and endless plains, 
Together, like their pictured scroll, 



A NiaHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. §5 

Bringing the utmost zones to meet 
In a kiss of unity long and sweet. 

Wliat waking visions softly came 
Between him and the mystic flame, 
That changed the deeps of the forest gloom, 
To a twilight nook in a curtained room, 
The heavy breaths of his sleeping band 

To the ripples of Childhood's sweet repose — 
The soft wind's touch to a gentle hand, 
On his forehead pressed, in a far-off land. 

And its sound to a music he only knows — 
While over his head the holy stars, 
Looking down through the pine trees' moving bars, 

Became sucli eyes ! Ah me ! to guess 
Were to touch too near the sacred veil ; 

Or how, with a growing vividness. 
The visions shone as the fires grew pale, 

Stealing away into dreams of sleep. 

The same, but ever more clear and deep ; 
Till camp, and mountain, and Tlamath vale. 

Were things involved in a distant clime, 

And the purple mist of a vanished time. 



86 A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. 

Hark ! was it not a falling blow 

In the dusky verge of the sleeping camp ? 
Look ! are they only the shadows, that go 
Along the pine-bolls, crouching low, 

In the pale fire's dying lamp ? 
And that the moan of the breeze 1 Ah, no ! 
That stifled moan is a dying groan, 

A¥here the hand of the traitors fell ! 
" To your rifles ! ho ! 'tis the savage foe !" 
To their feet they sprang, and the forest rang 

With a long unearthly yell, 
And the sudden twang of the deadly bow — 

And the rifle's crack, quick answering back, 
That laid the foremost Tlamath low ! 

A moment now, for death or life. 

The pine-woods blazed with the quick, hot strife 

Of barbed arrow and whizzing ball ; 
The Delawares plied the scalping-knife 

Wherever a foe might fall, 
And the Tlaniath's scalp was whirled on high. 
With a leap, and a fierce exulting cry. 
And such a glare in the burning eye, 

As looks but to appall ! 



A NIGHT BY LAKE TLAMATH. g? 

The Tlamaths gave one parting yell, 

One arrowy shower, and fled, 
And left behind them, where he fell,^r, 

Their boldest warrior, dead — 
A royal chieftain, strong and young, 

Whose polished arrows, and plumage red, 
And cap with glittering jewels strung, 

Bespoke the fiower of their savage band, 

Of the subtlest brain, and the firmest hand, 
A warrior proud and dread. 
Alas ! too well in the silent dark 
The red axe struck to its sleeping mark ; 

Young Basil the gallant, the loved and fair — 
A sinewy Sioux swift and stark, 

And a bold broad-breasted Delaware — ■ 

Lay bleeding and warm, but lifeless there. 
But dear to their souls was the red cup poured 
With another dawn, on the Tlamath horde. 
When the hungry fire, and the rifle's shot. 
Lapped up their homes to a blackened spot. 
And mowed their swarms like the falling grain, 
When the reapers bow to the harvest plain — 
Till tbeir treacherous powder, with their warriors 

Fell shattered and was not. [slain, 



BASIL LAJEUNESSE. 

A THRENODY. 

By the beautiful Lake Tlamath 
Sleeps Basil Lajeimesse, 

With his arms upon his bosom, 
And his mantle on his face. 

The Pines' aeolian murmur 
Is over him forever, 

And a moaning, moaning, moaning, 
A melancholy moaning. 
Like a widow's lone intoning. 

Joins, from the muffled motion 
Of the darkly-rollinfy river. 

By the beautiful Lake Tlamath 
Sleeps Basil Lajeunesse ; 



BASIL LAJEUNESSE. gQ 

He has fought the good life-battle, 

He has run the manly race. 
We mourned him like a brother, 

For we knew him but to love him ; 
And the dripping, dripping, dripping, 

The musical, low dripping 

Of the dew-drops, v/as in keeping 
With the tears that, in our silence, 

Shed we, womanly, above him. 

By theT3eautiful Lake Tlamath 

Sleeps Basil Lajeunesse, 
The young, the swift, the beautiful. 

With every manly grace ; 
The virgins of Canadia, 

Far, far away shall mourn him ; 
And the wailing, wailing, wailing. 

The weary west-wind's wailing, 

Will waft them one unfailing 
Memorial, low monody. 

From the bed where we have borne him. 

By the beautiful Lake Tlamath 
Sleeps Basil Lajeunesse, 



90 BASIL LAJEUNES8E. 

But not long shall sleep forgotten 

In a solitary place ! 
The Future's fair-haired Virgins, 

Along that moon-lit river, 
In a soothing, soothing, soothing, 

Soft threnode, spirit-soothing, 

The ruffled night air smoothing 
With the beautiful Lake Tlamath 

Shall weave his name forever ! 



DEFEAT OF WAH-L AH-WAH-L AHS 



" Vengea^nce on the white marauders, 

Vengeance on their gathered host, 
Who are grasping all our borders, 

From the mountains to the coast. 
They have robbed us, they have slain us. 
But their Law shall never chain us,— 

For the red-tongued scalping-knife 
Shall declare the wrongs we bear. 

In exterminating strife. 
Rouse our overwhelming numbers ! 

Blood for blood, and life for life ! 
Strike their war-men in their slumbers. 

Fire the home, and brain the wife !" 



92 DEFEAT OF WAH-L AH- W AII-LAITS 

Yelled the savage Wah-lah-waii-lahs. 

With a peal that rent the sky, 
Like the terrible " il-AUahs" 

Of the Moslem's charging cry. 

All the vale of Sacramento 

Shuddered at the vengeful yell ; 
Ever clearer, louder, nearer, 

Clearer, louder, more terrific, 
On the scattered Homes it fell. 

Till the snov^y-peaked Sierra, 
Thousand-echoed, caught the terror. 
And her wrath-white lips magnific 

Flung it to the broad Pacific, 
With an ever-deepening swell. 

Followers of the Eagle Banner ! 

Conquerors of the " Golden Gate !" 
Periled life, and periled honor. 

In a swirl of refluent fate, 

North and south, upon you wait ! 
Rebel Dons at Santa Barbara 

Snatch the loosened reins of State ; 
While the angered northern savage. 



DEFEAT OF WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS. 93 

Eager now to burn and ravage, 
In your perils grown elate. 
For the fatal moment waits, 
When but blood his fury sates. 

Where is now the dauntless Leader 

Of the never-daunted clan ? 
He who on the white Nevada — 

On the peak " del Gabellan"- 

Hung before his narrow van 

Freedom's meteor flag again, 
Threatful with its bloody bars, 
Glaring with defiant stars 

On the treacherous Mexican ? 

Where is now the " Iron Man" 
With his Braves who never blanch. 

Who, in spite of twanging bow, 

Lance's hiss, and axe's blow, 
Rode that ride at Redding's Ranch, 

On a forest of the foe 1 

Summoning his bold Battalion, 
He has turned to tame Rebellion 
On the hills of Santa Barbara, — 



94 DEFEAT OF W AH-L All- W AII-L AH S, 

Santa Barbara won and lost, 
Where their mettle soon was tried, 
Fiercely, at the next Yule-tide, 
As the storm in sleety horror 
Wrapt the shuddering Sierra, 

While the dauntless hero cross'd. 
With their Leader, side by side, 
They, in valor's hardy pride, 

Charged the Elemental Host, 
Though a hundred horses died 

By the arrows of the Frost ! 

Needs the land such mettle now, 
For a quick and deadly blow 

In the Sacramento's valley, 
Where the savage Wah-lah-wah-lahs 

To the dance of vengeance rally 
Like the heroes in Valhalla's 

Wassail wild, from ghastly bowls 

Pledging their infernal " skoals.''' 

Turn, thou thunder-bolt of war. 

Flash thy lightnings on the north ; 
•' Help!'' forsaken wives implore, 



DEFEAT OF W All-L AH- W AH-LAHS. 95 

Old and worn, who fight no more, 
Babes and virgins near and far, 
Call thy conquering valor forth. 

Eager for the fearful fray, 

Round the Leader flocked his band, 

Fiery heart and iron hand, 
On their chargers fierce as they. 

Snuffing battle in the gale 

That swept broadl)'' down the vale. 
Seemed, in equal ardor fit, 
Horse and Rider champed the bit, 

As impatient of delay. 

But the Chieftain, with the lifting 

Of his right hand, waved away 
All the longing Rangers, thronging. 

Panting for the savage fray. 

" Not to-day ! not to-day ! 
I have need of picked companions 

For my conquerless array ; 
Ye who ran the roaring canons, 

Making hardihood a play, 

Well can do what valor may ; 



96 DEFEAT OF W AH -L All - W AH-LAHS. 

But a courage more divine 

Must be mine, if Heaven incline 
In my perilous path to shine. 

" Under that great Eye who sees us, 
I must go, and you must stay ; 

Let your fiery valor burn, 

It shall blaze, at my return, 

On the ramparts of Don Jesus, 
And the rebel south affra}^ 

Now^ with these my chosen Three, 

I go forth to victory, 

Or what fate the Power decrees us 
Whom to know is to obey." 

Forth they rode, the gallant Four, 

Rode the Leader with his Three, 
From the wonder of their fellows. 
Why they rode, or why no more, 

On so fierce an enemy ; 
Forth they rode with equal flight 

Till they heard the war-whoop's roar, 
Saw the war-fires burning bright, 
Saw the angry Wah-lah-wah-lahs 



DEFEAT OP WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS. 97 

Whet their vengeance for the fight ; 
Heard the cry which filled the hollows 

With far echoes of affright^ 
As the judgment-knells of conscience 

Fill the murderer's dreams by night. 

With a slow and measured tramp, 

R'ode the One before the Three, 
Straight into the stormy camp, 

Roaring round them like a sea ; 
Straight to where the old War-Sachem 

Swung his axe in savage glee, 
On imagined scalp-locks clutchingj 
From invisible mothers snatching 

Babes his wrath alone could see. 

In a lull of sudden wonder — 
Hush of that mid-volleyed thunder, 
Which might make the terror grander, 
Thus outspake the bold Commander : 

" I have heard the wrongs you suffer^ 
Heard the cry of your distress ; 

Here witk bpen hands I proffet* 

5 



98 DEFEAT OF WAH-LAH-WAH-LAHS. 

Pledge and promise of redress. 
I have steeds as fleet as arrows, 

And unerring as the bow — 
I will bring them when the sparrows 

Sing for the retreating snow ; 
Though for many lingering morrows 

Southward down the coast 1 go. 
Chase the game along the narrows, 

Elk and deer and buffalo : 
Call your kinsfolk, your companions, 

To the better way ye learn ; 
Spear the salmon in the caiions — 
Hunt and fish, and spare the lives 
Of our little ones and wives — 

Live in peace till I return : 
And this warrior by my side 
With your gallant Braves may ride, 
Holding up our Banner's pride. 

That before your path shall burn, 
An inviolate guard and guide. 

He were rash who dared to spurn !" 

Peace was on the Leader's brow. 
And Persuasion on his tongue ; 



DEFEAT OF WAH-LAH - W AII-LAHS. 99 

Honor sealed his simple vow, 

Faith on every accent hung. 
From his lip whose smile was balm, 

From his eye whose glance was law, 
Round him grew a ring of calm, 

Round him grew a ring of awe ; 
For his words were words of truth, 

And his look was silent Power : 
Hoary chief and fiery youth. 

Yielding all the centered weight 

Of their hoarded wrath and hate. 

To an action calm and great. 

Were the conquest of that hour. 

" Take," he said, " my bearded Brave, 

Pledge my foot will never lag 
In the promises I gave ; 

Take the white man's starry Flag, 
For where'er its splendors wave 

O'er your march, by dell and crag. 
Moves the great shield of our Law ; 
And the foe that strikes that banner 
Strikes me^ and the jealous honor 

Of a broad Land, stretching far 

Both her arms, of Peace and War !" 



iOO DEFEAT OF W AH-LAH-WAH-LAHS. 

Ceased the war-cry of the savage, 
Ceased the will to burn and ravage, 

And the valleys slept again. 
Backward rode the gallant Three, 

Rode the Leader and his Twain, 
From a bloodless victory, 

From a field without its slain ; 
And the boldest Wah-lah-wah-lahs 

Rode to battle in his train. 



THE RIDE OF ONE HUNDRED. 



" Steeds ! steeds for my Riders ! the fleetest and 
best ! 

My Country demands, and there's death in delay ! 
Unbar your corral to a People's behest, 

And lavish your treasures to speed us away ! 
The stars of my banner must blaze in the rout 

Of Castro, the hater, the coward, and slave ! 
And its stripes like a manifold scourge shall flout 

That insolent traitor death-hunting the brave ! 

" He is trailing his hounds to the deadly attack 
On the Guards of Los Angeios, sturdy and few, 

But a week this day will I harry him back 

With the shattered remains of his howling crev/." 



102 'THE RIBE OF ONE HUNDEED. 

The Ranch of Yalleyo was buried in sleep, 
But it roused at the call of that dark Mountaineer, 

Who had marshaled his band for a hurricane-sweep 
Through the lines of Rebellion, flank, center, 
and rear ! 

" Two hundred leagues ! and a savage no Road 

Over bleak sierra and quaking morass ! 
Through gulches untamed by a human abode, 

And the wild ' el Rincon's^ weltering pass ! 
It can not be done !" and Yalleyo's head 

Shook a creditless " No" in the face of the chief. 
*' But it must ! and it shall be !" the warrior said, 

"My Land is my pledge, and the moment is 
brief!" 

Three hundred steeds, from Valleyo's Ranch, 

Went down the Sonoma together that night, 
With the headlong plunge of an avalanche. 

That still in descending redoubles its might ! 
Through the hills and the hollows the echoes were 
waked, 

With a charging shout of the daring and free — 
Till down Yerba Buena her cottages quaked 

In a prescient throb of her magic To Be. 



THE EIDE OF ONE HUNDEED. ^QS 

In a snow-flight tinged with a raining of red, 
The galloping chargers were strung to their 
speed ; 
For the mouths that were foaming, and flanks that 
bled, 
Showered thus in the path of each emulous 
steed ! 
The Riders leapt down from the beast over-spent 
To their riderless runners that scoured o'er the 
plain ; 
And their pathway was marked, far along, as they 
went, 
By the wild-dogs feeding on fallen and slain ! 

No needless delay for imperative need. 

One nap, and a snatch, and away to their Ride ! 
With their swarthy Fremont dashing on in the 
lead, 

And his wiry Kit Carson almost at his side. 
No sound on their charge but the storming of hoofs. 

And the snort of the steeds as they darted and flew. 
Or a shout from the ridges hurled down to the roofs, 

Like a voice from the clouds or a bolt from the 
blue ! 



X04 "^^^ EIDE OF ONE HUNDEED. 

Through startled San Pablo, through hushed Mon- 
terey ; 

Through far-scattered hamlets, o'er hedge-row 
and fosse ! 
The lone watcher, roused by the stormy affray. 

Just muttered a curse, with the sign of the cross ! 
The spectres that ride on the Brocken by night. 

Not wilder nor fleeter had seemed to their terror, 
Than these, in their wordless and weariless flight, 

Over ruinous rifts, and the jagged Sierra ! 

The dark-flooded Rio rolled down in their path ; 

They faltered one leap, at its ruinous roar ; 
" On ! on through the torrent ! we'll buffet its 
wrath !" 
And the Leader dashed on through the whirl to 
the shore ! 
Swept down like the leaves of the forest, they 
went, 
And the dark Sacrificios whitened with spray, 
As they struggled and plunged in the deadly de- 
scent. 
Till all but the rearmost rode out and away ! 



THE EIDE OF ONE HUNDEED. ^QS 

"The Dead to their Maker! the Quick to the 
Charge ! 
The hights of the Puebla are looming in sight ; 
There wavers the Banner of Stars, on their marge ! 
Now, plunge in the Battle ! and God for the 
Right!" 
Oh ! what a wild yell, like the funeral knell 

Of rampant Kebellion, went up with that cry ! 
As full on the rear of the Traitor they fell, 

Like a thunder-bolt launched from a shadowless 
sky! 

" Fremont to the rescue ! Ho, rally once more ! 

He has come with his Riders ! the dark Moun- 
taineer !" 
The garrison's volley rang out with a roar. 

In reply to the thunders that rose on the rear ! 
Star flashing to star, from their flags, o'er the foe, 

Sent a cheer to the Braves, but a basilisk glare 
On the terrified legions dispersed at a blow, 

And whelmed by the Riders in final despair ; 

For the Lancers of Castro went down in that storm, 

Like reeds of the fen in a tempest of fire, 

5* 



106 '^'^^'^ RIDE OF ONE HUNDEED. 

Where the fierce Wah-lah-wah-lah's uiigarmented 
form 
Rode on, like a demon of doom, in his ire ; 
And the swart Mountaineers with their Chief in 
the van, 
Wheeled in, with a gallop, and swept them away ! 
So rode The One Hundred, led on by The Man, 
And the arm of Rebellion was broken that day. 



Again to the rescue ! undaunted Fremont ! 

The hell-hounds of treachery, snuffing for blood, 

Are loosed on the Man-child at Liberty's font- 
Young Kansas the free, trampled down by their 
brood ; 

Now thund; r the war-cry, as then it was thundered, 
Charge home on Oppression ! and God for the 
Right ! 

Our Millions will ride in the path of the Hundred, 
And bloodless, or bleeding, win all in the fight ! 



CONQUEST ENDED 

BY THE FATE OF DON JESUS PICO. 

December's glowing sun looked down 
On verdant field and leafy oak, 

San Luis' towers, and roofs of brown, 
And the swift victor's camp-fire smoke. 

Before its golden beams illume 

The eastern mountains' sea-ward wail, 
The captive foe must meet his doom, 

From many a deadly rifle-ball ! 

No blanching on his manly cheeks, 
No quailing in his dauntless eye ; 

Firm as his own Nevada's peaks. 

The Insurgent Chieftain waits to die. 



108 CONQUEST ENDED. 

To die a soldier's death of shame, 
Twice conquered by a single hand, 

And wearing on his mountain name 
The fire-mark of Dishonor's brand. 

Wrapt in his " old Castilian pride," 
He begged no boon of lingering life ; 

If for his Country's love he died, 

Why kneel to live for Home and Wife ? 

Home, Mother, Wife, and dark-eyed Girls, 
Dear to the Brave, and doubly dear 

When o'er him Death's white breaker curls- 
Wrung out no weak memorial tear. 

A glitter on the snowy peaks, 

And on the rifle's ready line, 
To his calm eye the moment speaks, 

And flashes far its fatal sign. 

Alone in his unguarded tent. 

Watching the Hour's relentless hand, 
The Victor stood, with forehead bent, 

Lip-parted for the last command : 



CONQUEST ENDED. JQQ 

When all the Captive's wealth of Home, 
Mother and Wife and black-eyed Girls 

Thronged round him — these with cheeks like foam 
In the dark splendor of their curls — 

That with her pale majestic face 

Crowned well by smooth Madonna hair, 

And clinging in a linked embrace, 

They breathed and looked and wept their prayer. 

" Mercy ! thou merciful and brave ; 

Spare, spare to us our more than life ! 
The Husband, Son, and Father save, 

To weeping Mother, Child, and Wife. 

" Perhaps a mother's fading eye 

Watches the west for thy return ; 
A true wife's prayer ascends on high, 

Tender with thoughts that o'er thee yearn ; 

*' Or in an hour that change may bring, 

Far from their fallen father's tomb, 
Thy children's happy laugh may ring, 

Unconscious of their flying doom ! 



110 CONQUEST ENDED. 

" God spare them long ! and spare us, thou, 
The bitter cup they would not drain ; 

And we will hold thee, close as now, 

To hearts where grateful love shall reign." 

Oh, to have seen our Hero then ! 

The great tear trembling in his eye, 
Not " first" alone, but " best of men !" 

Had been our heart's applauding cry. 

" Guards, lead the Captive to my tent !" 

Calm in the rifle's deadly aim. 
The Doomed had stood, and proudly went — 

But seeing, trembled as he came. 

" Take from my hand, and with my hand. 

Full pardon, and thy periled life, 
To be the bulwark of thy land. 

The joy of Mother, Child, and Wife !" 

Thrice conquered, at the Victor's knee 

The strong man bowed, with heaving breast, 

Devoting hand and heart to be 
The ransom of the far Southwest. 



CONQUEST ENDED. m 

There bowed a People's jealous hate, 
There breathed a People's loyal vow ; 

And, thronging through the Golden Gate, 
Our myriads share that conquest now. 



More worth than laurels dripping red, 
Is Mercy's stainless lily crown ; 

Its odor, round the Brave Man shed. 
Is sweeter than his old renown. 

Not myriads alone shall bless 
The Hero of the Spotless Shield, 

For now our rousing millions press 
Around his Banner in the field. 

Like lightning to the embattled wrong. 
Like sunshine to the poor and weak. 

It calls the dauntless and the strong, 
It lures the merciful and meek. 

Not myriads alone shall share 

The triumphs of that glorious flag ; 



112 CONQUEST ENDED. 

But, from' the walls of Slavery's lair, 
To white Nevada's farthest crag, 

O'er all the land his courage gave 
To Freedom and the march of man, 

When, unpolluted by a slave, 
Rolls west her endless caravan, 

May teeming millions find a home, 
And spread the empire of the free. 

From far Pacific's whitening foam 
To broad Atlantic's heaving sea ! 



TO CAPTAIN J. C. FREMONT. 

FEOM THE SPANISH OF DON HEENANDO FUEEO, 
[Los Angelos, Feb., 1847.] 

Brave Foe ! whose conquering sword is WTeathed 

With olive, never stained by wrong ; 
Whose spirit, in thy warriors breathed, 

Imparts thy courage high and strong, 
I crown thee generous as brave, 

Proud peer of all the great and free, 
And bless defeat itself which gave 

Our land, our laws, our all to thee ! 

From thee, as midnight from the sun, 
Shrank Castro, anarchy, and chains ! 



X14 TO CAPTAIN J. C. FEEMONT. 

Thy crimeless victories, bravely won, 
Gave freedom to our scourged domains. 

Law followed in thy glorious track, 
And Mercy flew by Valor's side ; 

Ah, Jesu ! that this*land should lack 
What rights a noble Foe supplied ! 

A Foe no more ! with proffered hand, 

And grateful heart, we hail thee Friend ! 
Magnanimous to a fallen Land, 

Whose old Castilian pride may bend 
To a great Heart, but sooner dies 

Than blanch at death — I crown thee Great, 
In action strong, in council wise. 

True savior of a tottering State ! 

I see the ancient fire renewed 

In this last age of coward men ; 
Texeda's dauntless heart, endued 

With stubborn virtue, lives again ; 
Manaya's fiery will in war. 

Puts lightning in thy every blow ; 
The Western World's young Campedor, 

Thy very presence quells the foe ! 



TO CAPTAIN J. C. FKEMONT. n^ 

No other hand could guide so well 

Your sunrise Eagle on our hills : 
Our jealous hate might ne'er repel, 

But would have stuog, with clinging ills. 
The victor, who in triumph's flush 

Knew not so grandly to forbear — 
For the Guerilla's steel can blush. 

But not his cheek, at deeds we dare ! 

Tracked by the glare of burning homes, 

By childhood's curse and woman's wail, 
' Tis thus the heartless conqueror comes, 

Whose path is one red murder-trail ! 
But white hands down thy swift career 

The dark-eyed signoritas wave, 
And matrons join the deepening cheer 

That hails thee Merciful as Brave ! 



FAREWELL TO "SACRAMENTO." 



Hurrah ! and away ! My Steed, good-bye ! 

Gray Sacramento, I glory to see 
Thy smoking mane and thy blazing eye, 

And thy broad breast swelling to be free ! 
Almost it seems that a human soul, 
With its lofty essence of self-control, 

And that divine disdain to be 
The creature of any, which marks the goal 

Of a higher nature won. 
Were speaking now, in thy glorious mien. 
And making the fire of thine eye more keen, 
As I shout to cheer thee on ! 

Rushing away to the reinless herd. 

Thou hast cleared the prairie, fleet as a bird, 



FAREWELL TO " 8 ACK AMENTO." 117 

With a joyous prance for thy wordless glee, 
And a backward glance of pride for me, 
And another, as proud, for the jealous crowd, 
Sent over the left exultingly back, 
With a challenge to come if they will, on a 

track 
That runs like a flash through the tempest's 
rack — 
Thyself the flash of thy own dust-cloud ! 

Away with thy fellows, who hail thee in pride, 
I see thee dashing the laggards aside. 
As a steamship dashes the billowy tide. 
For thy tameless purpose is still to lead ! 
Hurrah ! the hunter who hopes to ride 
With a bit for thee, my gallant Steed, 
Should mount the Eagle for better speed, 
With a shooting star for his only guide, 
And train his nimble hand to throw 
The lightning-streak for his red lasso ! 

Ha ! ha ! I laugh with thy victor laugh ! 
And see with thee, from that burning eye, 
The hills and the woods go drifting by. 



118 FAREWELL TO " S A CE AMENT 0. » 

Like clouds of hurricane-winnowed chaff! 
As if the world were around thee hurled — 
That eye the center, from which it whirled, 

And its bicker thy jubilant laugh. 

Thou hast served me well, and T speed thee well. 

My gallant Steed, forever free ! 
Leaping the cliffs like a light gazelle, 
And far out-flying the very yell 
Of the savage hordes, whose arrows fell 

In a pattering hail on our smoking trail, 

Whole roods behind thy meteor tail, 
And wasted there, on the desert air, 

The vengeance meant for me. 

Thou hast borne me over the herbless waste, 
With a hardy mettle and eager haste, 
That left swift Famine, thin and pale, 
Drifting astern on the panting gale ! 

Little to thee, as a stumbling-block. 

Was fallen tree or fallen rock ; 
One bound went clear, over rock and tree ! 

The treacherous cleft was spanned and left, 
With a graceful daring, proud to see ; 



FAREWELL TO " S ACE AMENTO." ng 

The*-roaring floods thou hast carried me through, 
With the buoyant bound of the fleet canoe. 
Or the lighter glide of the swift curlew 
Across the waves of a troubled sea. 

I have pillowed my head on thy dark gray side, 

Watching the stars, our golden guide ; 

We have drunk together the same clear flow 

.''rom the cups of the playful brooks, that grow 
To majestical rivers far down below. 
Almost, by times, I had need to share 
The bitter herbs of thy scanty fare — 
And oft have we gone to one roofless bed, 
With the same bare sod beneath us spread, 
Or coiled in the folds of the falling snow, 
Where man and beast at the dawn were found, 

;^ach lying apart in his silent mound, 

Is if our camp were a burial-ground 
For the sleep of the nameless dead ! 

My dauntless Kit has a plume for thee ! 
For thy saving speed in an hour of need. 
When thy hoofs were fleet, and his rifle slow, 
To level the death-doing Indian foe, 



120 FAEEWELL TO "SACRAMENTO." 

Whose fatal point was drawn to the bow — 
Thy swift leap trampled him down at a blow, 
And my Lad stood peril-free ! 

Ha ! ha ! I shout to thy gallant neigh, 
And cheer thee on thy reinless way, 

Free ! free to thy heart's desire ! 
Ill fare the hand that touches again 
The dark gray ridge of thy tossing mane ! 
Or thy swelling nostrils, red and thin, 
Sucking the air like a whirlwind in. 

To snort it out in fire ! 
Never again let rider sit 

On thy strong back, my noble Steed ! 
Nor part thy teeth with the iron bit. 

To pamper his pride, or serve his need. 
I give thee to the unbounded plain, 
With the whole broad West for thy fair domain, 

And a wild hurrah, for my parting word ! 
Wherever the fire of thy heart may lead, 
Go forth, forever unleashed and freed, 
Thy best defense in thy own good speed— 

Thou lord of. the reinless herd 1 



THE PRAIRPB CAMP 



As sloops becalmed upon the deep, 
Or birds upon the wing asleep, 
White on the Kansas' boundless plain 
The Explorer's tents are seen again ; 
For still undaunted to the last, 
By woes to come, or perils past, 
Again he dared the winter's wrath — 
To trace the inevitable path ^ 
Where yet the Lightning's moaning lyre 
Shall wail her bondage to the wire, 
While shriek the white-maned Steeds of Fire- 
That path he would have trod before 
When, wandering in the mountains hoar. 



122 TIIEPRAIEIECAMP. 

Came pale Disaster for tbeir Guide, 
And brave hearts, scattered far and wide, 
In snowy gulfs sank down and died. 

But far from his white tents to-day, 

The Leader held his lonely way. 

Disease had touched the " Iron Man," 

But not the less his valor ran 

High bounding, eager to return, 

Where now their smouldering watch-fires burn, 

And once again, in courage stern, 

To charge, with his devoted band, 

The horrors of the mountain-land. 

The lingering voyageiirs set their camp 
Where, day by day, the Bison's tramp 
Came booming o'er the rolling plain. 
Like surges of the watery main ; 
And bounding 6ver many a slope, 
Flew by the graceful Antelope, 
Light, slender, fleet, and beautiful. 
Skimming the long waves like a gull ; 
While, from his covert in the wood, 
Came forth by times and wondering stood 



THE PEAIKIE CAMP. 

The stately Elk in all the pride 

Of his huge antlers branching wide, 

As first upon his startled sight 

Appeared the low tents, gleaming white — 

Then darting down the river, sped— ^ 

The cieft air hissing round his head, 

His branchy horns, now seen, now lost, 

Like leafless oak-boughs tempest-tost, 

Rising and sinking on the view, 

As o'er the endless reach he flew. 

Along the river's banks of green 
The willow hung its pendent screen. 
And dark in heavier masses stood 
The thick groves of the cottonwood. 
While on the waves that never broke. 
Hung a broad crest of giant oak. 

Far o'er the plain as sight could pass, 
Rolled, deep and brown, the sea of grass, 
Whose lifted surge, a moment seen. 
Tossed up its hidden wealth of green. 
Flashing an inward transmarine. 
Like ocean's billows in the light, 
Just ere the long curl breaks in white. 



123 



124 THE PEAIRIE CAMP. 

The Prairie Sage, a matted mass, 
Like brown rocks in the flowing grass, 
Would whiten to the ruffling breeze, 
As by the foam of breaking seas ; 
While, here and there, the mottled hen 
Rose from the mass, and sunk agen, 
As you have seen the hunted brant 
Leave, for a breath, his watery haunt. 
And plunge below the wave, too fleet 
For the quick death shot's leaden sleet. 

Wide round the camp, on either hand, 
The turbid Kansas, rolling grand 
Stretched her two arms, as if to clasp 
The broad savannah in her grasp. 
And hold the voyageurs' little band, 
As in the hollow of her hand. 

But where is He whose beacon soul 
May light them to their ocean goal ? 
They lingered long, and day by day. 
Looked darkly up. the western way, 
Looked longing down the eastern plain. 
But, vainly longing, looked in vain. 



THE PRAIEIE CAMP. 125 

Below their sunset's golden shore 
A hundred length'ning leagues, and more, 
Their journey lay, through perils sore ; 
Beyond the Prairie's weary miles, 
Beyond the mountains' rocky piles, 
Right through the desert, stretching blank 
Along Nevada's eastern flank, 
And o'er the white Sierra's crest, 
To the broad waters of the west. 

Already the blue air grew dun. 
And crimsoned the October sun ; 
Already, on the steep ascents. 
Had coming Winter pitched his tents. 
And mustering all his savage host, 
With biting gale and burning frost. 
Far forth, by howling wind and rain. 
Sent down his challenge to the plain. 

Where waits the Leader, whose right hand 
Shall lift an ensign o'er that band. 
And lead them to the sunset land ? 
The darkened sky grows yet more dun, 
Grows redder the October sun. 



126 THE PEAIRIE CAMP. 

And down the thick air's deeper gloom, 
Its setting seems the eve of Doom. 
Ah, well they know, who linger there, 
The meaning of that darkening air, 
And what Doom's-eve its dusky robe 
Winds round the sunset's burning globe ! 

Night, with its overarching tomb, 

Shuts down, and lo ! the dawn of Doom ! 

One lurid ring, from left to right. 

Round all the east, involves the night. 

A ring of fire, and fiery cloud. 

That, like the Torturer's Iron Shroud, 

Rolls in and in, its narrowing walls, 

While dov^^n, and down, the dun roof falls ! 

Ha ! by that closing ring they read 

The red invader's fatal speed, 

Bannered like Israel's desert flight 

With cloud by day and fire by night ! 

Where rides the Leader ? The swift wrath 

Is rolling on his very path ; 

Or, if he lingers far aback, 

Sweeps out the records of their track. 



THE PRAIEIE CAMP. ;[27 

Redder and redder, to the sky, 
It heaves its lurid arms on high ; 
Darker and darker glooms the vault, 
To starless horror, in the assault 
Of billowy clouds, whose volumes vast 
Snow down black ashes, hurtling past. 

From point to point, rise towering higher. 
In beacon splendor of wild Fire, 
The signal torches, that betray 
The vortex of a fiercer fray ; 
Where, lingering in its headlong flow, 
To gloat above a nobler foe. 
It deepens to a more intense 
And terrible magnificence. 

There, standing long unscathed before, 
Some forest kings, all bearded hoar. 
Have roused the demons of the fire, 
To wilder bursts of fell desire — 
Arrears of their vindictive ire. 
The crackling boughs that, as it came, 
Rolled upward, molten into flame. 
Fall crumbling down like that red snow 
That showered on Dante's world of woe. 



128 TH'B PEA IE IE CAMP, 

Coiled round the giant trunks, anon. 
The serpent flames run circling on, 
And o'er the topmost spire have flung 
The hiss of many a cloven tongue ; 
Till, robbed of royal robe and crown, 
One here, and there, goes tottering down. 
And naked, burning to the heart, 
Alone, the mightiest stand apart, 
Tossing their blazing arms on high, 
In dumb appealing to the sky. 
Like awful Martyrs ere they die ! 

The gallant Leader, where ' oh wher#? 
On that scorched desert of despair, 
A crumpled cinder black and bare ? 
Or flying through the lurid gloom, 
Dogged by the fire-hounds to his doom ? 

The anxious voyageurs gaze in vain, 

Across the fiery-girdled plain, 

Or listen through the wakeful camp, 

To hear a fleet steed's charging tramp. 

They only see the lurid belt 

Drawn inward, as the broad leagues melt 



THE PEAIRIE CAMP. |29 

Before that desolating breath — 
That rustling of the wings of death ! 
They only hear the distant cry 
Of wild-birds, wailing through the sky, 
And now the long, unearthly bark 
Of wolves sent trooping down the dark, 
And the deep jar that shakes the plain, 
Where sweej^s the Bison's hurricane. 

All night a million tongues of fire 
That, ever nearer, fluttered higher. 
In one infernal Pentecost, 
Seemed gibbering over something lost ! 

At length the struggling morning came. 
And turned to cloud the distant flame ; 
While, nearer, marched its baflled ranks, 
Roaring along the river-banks, 
As mad to see the white camp gleam 
Securely, by the guardian stream. 

Ha ! laughed they not with evil glee, 
To see what now the voyageurs see ! 
Hemmed in and cheated by the flood 

The red-winged fiend has cleared the wood ! 

6* 



J30 THE PEAIEIE CAMP. 

And leaps from groaning tree, to earth, 
Clapping his million hands in mirth, 
Licking the long grass from the sod 
And burning like an angry god. 

Where is the dauntless Leader ! where ? 

To teach their hands to do and dare. 

And snatch them from this hour's despair 1 

With eager will, and nerve that strains, 
They strike their tents and pile their wains. 
While yet the last green rood remains ; 
And turn the frantic cattle towards 
The shelter of the river-fords ; 
Then thronging by the watery marge, 
Await the last decisive charge. 

*' Hurr li !'' How wild a yell there broke 
Above the rolling flame and smoke — 
The long glad vv^hoop that well declares 
The fierce joy of the Delawares. 
He comes ! the Leader comes at last, 
His steed careering like the blast; 
Right onward through the roaring lire 
That leaps and writhes with baffled ire •, 



THE PEAIEIE CAMP. ^31 

And close behind him, side by side, 
His ponderous Leech and tawny Guide. 

"Hurrah !" The welkin, reeking hot, 
Rings with their shout and volleying shot, 
The mingled cheer, and signal-round. 
To lead their Leader, lost and found ! 

No gladder throng may goodly hap 
Find clustered in Home's sunny lap, 
When children, by the household-fire. 
Greet newly the long-wandering sire, 
Than theirs, amid that world of flame. 
When the beloved Leader came. 
Short time for greeting ; with one charge 
They dashed across the burning marge, 
Where trampled grass, along their path. 
Disarmed the fire of half its wrath ; 
And o'er the black unbounded plain, 
They took their joyful march again. 



132 THE PRAIEIE CAMP. 



SEQUEL TO THE PRAIEIE CAMP. 

Pale Freedom in her 'leaguered camp, 

Her forehead with its blood-sweat damp, 

Sits by the willows drooping low^, 

Beside the Kansas' mournful flow, 

A childless Mother in distress, 

A Widow in the wilderness. 

Her children fled, or by her side, 

In the young bloom of strength a»d pride, 

Fell, bleeding for her sake, and died. 

Smote down by ruffians foul with grime — 

The eraseless blot of every crime. 

All round her, over plain and dell, 
Roars the red fire of Slavery's hell, 
One lurid blast whose volumed swell 
Has mown her golden harvest down. 
Devoured the homes of Lawrence town, 
And swept the cherished rights of Man 
Into black ashes where it ran. 



THE PRAIRIE CAMP. J33 

Missouri's dregs of villain blood, 
The old Palmetto's traitor-brood, 
And Georgia's ruffians ; with the scum 
Of all their Southern Scoundreldom — 
Sped on by Northern slaves, and knaves, 
Who have defiled their Fathers' graves. 
And cast the taint of bestial shame 
On their dead Mothers' sacred name — 
More foul than even the " ravening" Sire 
Of their dark spirits, could desire — 
Devour that goodly land like fire. 
And blacken deeper the dark page 
That bears the crime-blots of this age. 
By deeds whose mearmess would debase 
The horse-thief Pawnee in his chase. 
And whose sheer horror, to behold. 
Might turn the prairie Wolf's blood cold. 

While Freedom's sons, whose blithe advance 
Gave life to all that broad expanse. 
Who planted in the virgin soil 
A glorious Future, by their toil- 
Are ringed and scorched by that red hell — 
Where waits the Leader, born to quell 



134 THE PKAIRIE CAMP. 

Its burning marcli, and trample out 
The fell flame — charging with a shout ? 

Not where the great Dome lends her flag 
To swathe the whelps of Slavery's hag, 
And cowards sneak with bludgeoned hand 
To smite the purest of our land ; 
Not where the White House — once a home 
For laureled Honor — has become 
A den of thieves from law exempt, 
The vortex of a world^s contempt. 

Not in the coffle ranks of those 
Who count Oppression's foes their foes, 
Whose leader's old gray head has on 
No wreath, from grateful Freedom won ; 
Nor in that small and chosen fold, 
To alien-hate and Slavery sold, 
Whose moral wisdom, faint and dim, 
Stands sponsor, as their patronym. 

No ! But the South, whose poisoned lees, 
And bitter scum, flow off with these, 
Has left for us the pure red w^ine 
Of her best blood of " old lang syne" — 



THE PEAIEIE CAMP. ^35 

Fremont ! the Leader— born to quell 
The insurgent fires of Slavery's hell. 

He comes ! thank God, we wait no more ! 

" Hurrah !" the wide air feels the roar 

Of that loud cheer which millions pour, 

Who mingle in the fiery chg^rge 

Across the f rairie's burning marge, 

To trample out the invading flame, 

Or backward scourge it whence it came — 

To wipe the forehead, torture-damp, 

Of Freedom, in her rescued camp. 

Replant upon the blackened sod 

Her golden seeds, for Man and God, 

And rear again her fruitful vine 

Broad bowered where millions might recline, 

And the great Future, glad and free, 

Shall celebrate her jubilee. 



THE OATH 



They stood together on a hoary peak 

Of the mid-mountains ; famine in their eyes, 
And the deep lines of want on brow and cheek, 
A ghastly brotherhood, grown pale and weak, 

In their long battle with the rocks and skies ! 
" Swear !" cried their Chieftain's voice, above the 

shriek 
Of antheming winds, resounding through the bleak 

Rock-chambers of the hills ; old memories 
That wakened sights of horror and despair. 

Deepened the solemn cadence of his speech ; 
" Ye bold companions of my perils, swear. 

That come what may, in hunger's utmost reach. 
Ye lift no hand of brother upon brother. 
But rather will die with, than live upon, each other." 



THE OATH. 137 

II. 

*' So help me God !" Their mountain altar rung 

As with one voice to that wild covenant. 
The icy crags, like horns of silver, flung 
The vow to their far brothers, out among 

The caverns, where the wolf coiled, cold and 
gaunt, 

Who heard and shuddered with new dreams of 
want ; 
The hollow caves, with their sepulchral tongue, 
Proclaimed it to the desert, and it stung 

The desert with more famine. " Help me God !" 
And God did help them in the wilderness. 

Desert and crag, and wolves athirst for blobd, 
Howled their unsated hunger and distress. 

As the pale band moved firmly to their goal, 

Where to the vine-clad hills Pacific's waters roll. 

III. 

Swear ! ye who feed upon our human life, 

Who have drawn out \h.Q red blood from the 

veins • 

Of haggard women, by your godless gains— 

The pale, thin maiden and the blighted wife, 



138 THE OATH, 

Starving upon your justice ! thou whose knife 
Is at the throat of the robbed emigrant, 
To carve still deeper what scant flesh remains — 

Swear ! ye who, w^hen the hounded fugitives pant 
Northward, still clanking their half-shattered 
chains, 

Bark on their track, the veriest hounds of all ; 

And you who keep your savage carnival, 

Fed fat on unbought labor's blood and brains ! 

Swear, that no more ye will pollute earth's sod 

With anthropophagy ; and so help you God ! 



BACKING OF FRIENDS- 

FROM AN INCIDENT IN FREMONt's LIFE. 

Do you ask me, hardy brothers, 

Toilers at the wheel and plow, 
Men of pith who salt your gruel 

By the sweat-drops of your brow, 
" Men of thought and men of action," 

*' Bone and sinew" of the land — 
Who for this great country's Captain 

HsLS my heart, and vote, and hand,- 
"I shall answer, I shall tell you," 

" Live or perish, sink or swim," 
I will vote for my good Captain ; 

He backed me, and I'll back him ! 



X40 BACKING OF FRIENDS. 

Eastward of the Inland Ocean, 

Near a mountain's frozen peak, 
Toiling through the wild Cordilleras, 

Once my heart and limbs grew weafc. 
" Let me die !" I said, '' my Captain ; 

Let me die ! I can not go !" 
0, how brother-like he answered, 

" Die ? my noble fellow ! no /" 
And he bound me on his shoulders, 

As my failing eyes grew dim, 
O'er the crag, on knees blood-dripping; 

He hacked me^ and Fll hack him ! 

O, I saw him when our brother — 

Now who sleeps upon the trail. 
Through the night of snow and tempest 

Was brought dying, cold and pale — ■ 
How with action prompt and tender. 

And a woman's melting eye. 
He made famine seem less bitter, 

Less a bitter thing to die ; 
But, I thought, this man was gentle, 

I a hlouse — ah, foolish whim ! 



BACKING OP FEIENDS. 14x 

On his red knees, like a brother, 
He backed me^ and I'll back him I 

All who served him learned to love him. 

More than life, should peril call ; 
They were equal who were faithful, 

Black and white, rich, poor, and all. 
By his words for honest labor, 

For free Laborer and soil, 
By the vast wealth opened to us 

In his own unwearying toil. 
All true hearts with me may answer, 

" Here is Honor's synonym ; 
When he served the poor and needy, 

He backed me, and FU back him !" 



CROSSING THE WAHSACH 



Snow ! snow ! snow ! 
Before, behind, above, and below, 
On rock and mountain and forest tree, 
In valley and canon, pit, and rift. 
And through the air in a merciless drift, 
A powdery smoke, that seemed to sift 
To the very bones, that none could see 
Whither they went, nor where might be 
The wallowing path of the Leader's feet, 
Right up the mountain barrier, beat. 

Snow ! snow ! snow ! 

" To the council, hardy warriors ! ho ! 



OBOSSING THE WAH8ACH. 143 

What word, my Braves, of the better way 
To scale the Wahsach's perilous edge 
And through the gulfs of the looming ledge 
To cleave our path, like a rending wedge ? 
'Tis deadly to go and death to stay — 
Speak, my Delawares ! shrewd to say 
What path is best in a dubious track, 
Where the hungry wolf would turn him back." 

" Snow ! snow ! snow ! 

My brave Commander, we can not go ! 

Pits under pits in the white-dark lie, 
Gale upon gale is the tempest's shriek, 
Cliff upon cliff is the mountain's peak, 
And the ridges beyond are sharp and bleak, 

The treacherous gulfs will cheat the eye, 

Where the struggling hunter will sink and die — 
And none shall find his bed in the snow ; 
My brave Commander, we can not go." 

" Snow ! snow ! snow ! 

Its terrible barrier well I kno%v, 

I see hut that in its whirlinor dance— 

But — ' can not V — where did my warrior learn 



144 CEOSSING THE WAHSACH. 

That woman's word ? or how to turn 
His back to a peril dark and stern ? 
We can, we must^ we will advance, 
And the Father above shall guide our chance — 
Come on ! and follow the forward beat 
Of my tireless club and my naked feet !" 

Snow ! snow ! snow ! 
Around, behind, above, and below, 
In a whirling cloud of tireless smoke 
Over drift and chasm and looming crag, 
Where a mountain goat would fail to drag 
His powerless ie^i — ashamed to lag, 
They climbed the cliffs as the measured stroke 
And tramp of the dauntless Chieftain broke ^ 
A path to life, and led them on 
To the Home-like fires of the Parawan 



1 a « 



DEFERRED, NOT LOST. 



In the war against Oppression, 

In the battle on the wrong, 
When the armies of the Alien 
Seem unconquerably strong, 
And the Elect a moment waver 
Chilled by waning fortune's frost, 
Mark the word ! 
Victory is but deferred, 
Never lost. 

^^ 
Freedom's champions are immortal 
As the living God they serve, 

* So© Frembmt's Lsttelr to GoV^br SobinBon. 
7 



146 "DEFEEEED, NOT LOST." 

Not a blood-drop falls to perish, 

Not an uttered truth shall swerve 
From its renovating mission, 
In her fire-tongued Pentecost, 
To her word 
Victory may be deferred, 
But not lost. 

All the Martyrs of old Ages 

Have bequeathed that faith to this, 
Lifting, through the flames, their beakers 

Of imperishable bliss ! 
Rome, and Smithfield, and Geneva, 
Smoking with hell's holocaust. 
Shriek the word, 
That our hopes, though, long deferred, 
Are not lost. 

All the legions of the Persian 
In that memorable Pass, 

Piled to swell the mausoleum 

* 

Of sublime Leonidas, 
Made "Thermopylae a watchword, 
Down through all the ages toss'd — 



*'DEFEREED, NOT LOST." 147 

Freedom's word, 
Teachiag that her reign, deferred, 
Is not lost. 

The grim courage of our Fathers, 

Fighting backwards down the hill, 
While their burning homes at Charlestown 

Only fired their dauntless will, 
Speaks from all their lowly tombstones 
Worn by time, and over-moss'd, 
The same word, 
That a victory long deferred, 
Is not lost. 

Freedom's martyr-souls in Kansas, 

Well who fou[;ht alone their fight, 
Till the Land's inaugurate Traitor 

With her wronged Arm crushed their might, 
For their burning homes in Lawrence, 
Yet shall teach, at Slavery's cost, 
The old word, 
That their hour is but deferred, 
And not lost ! 



148 



"DEFEREEB, NOT LOST." 

They may perish in their bondage ; 

But a lightning flash would leap — 
From their blood-smoke rolling upward — 
Through Oppression's cavernous deep, 
And explode its fatal fire-damp, 
Thundering o'er your ruined boast, 
This wild word : 
In their victory not deferred 
Ye are lost ! 



RESUME 



Old Poets singing to their lyres of gold, 

True golden Epics, in an iron age, 

Have made their heroes. God abov^e made mine — • 

A living canticle of power and peace : 

And I have spoken to yon not in vain, 

My countrymen ! if here I have not marr'd 

His better singing ; striving as I may 

To interpret, in the words of luiman song, 

That burning Epos. 

If my birchen torch — 
The simple lamp of hands inured to toil, 
Have caught one sparkle from the Signal Fires 
That blaze along a Hero's mountain march, 
So kindling with their glory that some eyes. 



150 EE8UME. 

Led by the nearer twinkle, turn to read 

The unborrowed brightness, and forget the lamp 

That flared their lids up — it is not in vain 

That, for one new moon's rounding, I lay down 

The sickle for the signal, the keen scythe 

For the rude cythern — for it seems, again. 

That miracle of the ages — a True Man, 

Has risen among us — one in whose large soul 

Hero and Human Brother have struck hands. 

And Worth and Worship mingle sisterly. 

Then only, when the world has need of him, 
God sends the Hero, and his stature. marks 
The measure of his mission ; for, what means 
This, which we crown as Hero, but the sum 
And concentration of a People's need, 
Fed grandly, to repletion of its wants — 
The incarnate answer of a people's prayer, 
Performing God's high purpose ? 

Show the Man, 
Towering preeminent above his peers, 
And we have witness of a giant work — 
The clear prediction of what Heaven intends 
In this Man's generation. 



EESUME. j[5| 

Show the Work, 
The vast necessities of Humanity — 
Some hideous monster of the moral world 
To be scourged out, and driven back to hell — 
Some wrong's dark inroad upon human rights 
To be repelled— or a wide continent 
Of primal Chaos, waiting for the hand 
Of a great conqueror to subdue its wilds 
To the broad reign of Order — and for each 
Ripe need, the Heavens have ripened the right Man. 
Him choose, sustain, and help, or the ripe need 
Grows rotten ripe, and the uplifted Arm 
Of Benediction falls in judgment wrath-! 

This Land has uttered the prophetic moan 

Of its great want, heard faintly through the shout 

Of boastful clamors, and the noisy whirl 

Of its sublime activities, too long — 

Whole decades long, while parasite Misrule 

Grew fat upon her vitals. She has cast 

The name of God, and the diviner Law, 

Out of her councils ; for the wicked rule, 

And Mammon sits with Anarchy and Crime, 

In her high places — and the people mourn. 



152 EESUMfi 

One cloud has deepened its broad thunder-folds. 
From a small handbreath to a mountain mass, 
Behind whose volumed blackness the faint light 
Has struggled long and fitfully ; but the Man 
Came not, to answer the mute questioning 
Of pained hearts, whether in the lurid sky 
Dawned the new day of Liberty and Peace, 
Or garnered lightnings fluttered their red wings, 
Precursive, for the last destroying swoop ! 

When the night gathered, and the perilous fire 
Stooped imminent, the need produced its Man. 
Then rose our martyrs whom the world knows 

not, 
Whose names have been a hissing in the Land, 

The moral champions of outraged Right, 
¥/hose names shall be a glory in the Land; 
Their great, indignant hearts, with fiery beat, 
Hurled renovating pulses through the veins 
Of the sin-fevered and sin-torpid mass. 
Till the Land's hunger- cry becomes a shout 
That will not hush till Freedom's right shall reign. 

Perjured, and stained with every crime — itself 
1 he crowning crime of crimes — dark Slavery 



Has rolled her turbid waters, wave on wave, 
Over the smiling South-Land, laying waste 
Her Eden gardens, till the wolves come back 
And howl among her desolated homes ! 
New lands, new victims, and new devotees 
Must fall before her, feeding, still in vain, 
Her still insatiate famine, till, forsworn 
The oaths she took in solemn covenant — 
Which,, our deep sin in making, bates no jot 
Of her deep perjury in forswearing — she 
Leaps her Missouri bound, as lightly as fire, 
Cruel as death, and false as nether hell. 
And holds young Kansas by her bleeding throat ! 

Now by the Throne, and Him who sits thereon ! 
And by our Souls, we swear, weighing our words 
With finest scruples, swear, that the black fiend, 
Shall lose her clutch from that fair Sufierer, 
And print no track of her polluted foot 
On God's free soil, our heritage, again, — 
Or perish where she stands ! 

This, if I read 
The indignation of free hearts aright. 
Is their deep vow and purpose, this the work, 



■[54 EESUME. 

One task of many worthy, which demands 
And prophesies the Coming Man, once more. 

Let not the word-strong moralist, whose words 
Have sent true pulses through these working souls, 
Debar their working. It is theirs to braid 
Organic lightning, from his moral light 
Whose limbless flame may spread diffusive life, 
In broad unbolted flashes, but has need 
Of the Strong Arm to work its fiery will 
Upon one purpose — needs the pointed steel 
Of sword-armed Themis, or the dreader edge 
' — By Duty called and Freedom sanctified — 
Of red Bellona, to call down its fire 
In triple bolts on hoar Iniquity. 

The imperative need its index finger lifts. 

Pointing aloft, to mark the magnitude 

Of Heaven's Elect, the stature of his soul. 

Amid the ripening of the mighty Want, 

We turn to ask, where ripens the right Man ? 

And find him, tracked by all his glowing deeds, 

— -A great life's-labor for his pupilage — 

Still learning right Rule in God's Normal School, 



RESUME. 155 

The wilderness and mountain, where of old 
The peerless renovators of the world 
Took their stern lessons. 

He, through giant toils 
And more gigantic perils, set his name 
Upon the everlasting mountain-tops. 
And made the desert vocal with his praise. 

In the wide waste of trackless wilderness, 

It ■ 

He asked the silent stars above his head, [him ; 

*' Whither ? and where?" and the stars answered 

High on the snow-capp'd mountain, whose abyss 

No line and plummet sounded, he inquired 

Of the thin Air, and the thin Air replied, 

" Thus far, oh, soul-winged Eagle ! thou hast 

soared 
In the high places of the Universe." 
He bade the homeless wilds to give him meat, 
And the wilds fed him, and the river-springs 
Brought water to him in the lonely place. 
Till all th^ wilds grew famished and athirst, 
And Hunger walked the dreary blank with him ! 

The virgin Realms that slept in solitude, 



156 resume:. 

Or only woke to the wild whoop of men 
Fiercer than wolves — fair Realms as beautiful 
As Tirzah of the Hills, and terrible 
As the ranked squadrons of a bannered army !- 
His hand, to the swart hand of Labor, gave, 
As a young Bride adorned for her espousals. 

The Golden Gate of the new Ophir rolled 

Unjarring on its hinges to let in 

Our swarming vigor, at his magic word, 

The " open sesame" of his fiery valor : 

And that vast hollow in the giant hand 

Of our world-beckoning Continent, where now 

The fleshly Saints build up their Canaan — 

With all its grandeur of eternal hills, 

And beauty of green meadows, and that deep 

Where the sad billows of the Inland Sea, 

Salt as the grave, break on the Utah rocks, 

And whiten their dark bases — first to him 

Unveiled the secrets of its lonely depths. 

And changed wild Fable into wondrous Fact. 

When the grim Lion of the Isles came down- 
Warily creeping from his northern lair— 



RESUMfi. J57 

Where sat the jeweled Princess of the West, 

Leaned on her wliite Nevada's ermined arnns — 

Or chained, or charmed, upon her virginal hills, 

With old Pacific inoanino^ at her feet, 

By chance the keen eye of the voyager saw 

The unsheathing claws, his quick ear heard the purr, 

Prelusive to the leap — and his quick hand 

Snapped the corroded fetter, and set free 

Her " Beauty" from the spoiler, and the " Beast." 

The baffled Jesuit, and the lynx-eyed Spy, 
And the false Leader of a cruel band, 
Muttered vain curses on their swift defeat. 
The foe, far off in their delightful dreams, 
But near at hand, with his mysterious Glass 
Reading their horoscope— from studious toil 
Leapt up, full armed, and snatched the glowing 

prize ! 
There Science put on valor, and the Stars 
Fought against Sisera ! 

For his swift success, 
Where to have lingered had been final loss, 
This Nation, jealous of her Ocean Sire — - 
By all she hopes for in her proud expanse, 



158 EESUME. 

By all she won in that victorious Ride, 
Owes to this Man her dearest gratitude. 

Humanity no less, in that broad land 
Stands debtor to him for a good work done. 
When other hands were forging darker chains 
For the fair Captive, his shook off the bolts. 
And, by his voice in Freedom's trial hour, 
Her Golden Hills were rescued from the clank 
Of Slavery's chain, the snap of Slavery's whip ; 
And unborn millions shall rise up in joy. 
To call him Blessed as they call him Great. 

His life has gone up to its regal seat, 

Beyond the reign of failure and mischance — 

Even in this pupilage for a vaster work, 

Complete in greatness of a task well done. 

We call him to that work, for our Land's Good, 

Nor offer laurels greener than his own. 

The idolatrous peoples have bowed down before 

The Golden Calf of Commerce — bent so low, 

They see not the dark stains of human blood 

Upon its horrid altar, and forget 

The living God of justice and of truth. 



EESUM6. 159 

We call our Leader from his Sinai peaks, 
To bring the Law ; not less the Eternal Code, 
Than that grave record, read in fathom snows, 
When the whole mountain smoked, and ever) 

beast 
That touched it died !^ — we call him, so to advance 
To him one little of the mighty debt 
We owe the Future, and the Future him. 
Her myriad voices, and imploring hands, 
Far-seen in clear prevision, supplicate 
By all she may be, or may fail to be, 
That we be faithful in this fearful hour, 
And do that justice to a people's hope. 
That mercy to the peeled and trodden down, 
Which is but lovelier justice — laid on us 
By solemn mortmain of the immortal dead, 
By the stern crisis of the eventful Now, 
And all the periled Future in our hands ! 

We call the Leader gladly, for we know 
The startling summons can not be in vain. 
Whatever fate or favor, frowns or smiles. 
The millions gather round his glowing page, 

* See Bigelow's Fremont, page 869. 



150 RlSSUME. 

And catch some inspiration from his fire. 
His stirring Name, heard far away before, 
Is not an echo, but a pealing shout — 
A Power among our jubilating hills — 
A Sunrise on our plains and valley-paths. 

The very coward, though he shrink and quake 
At the dim story of his daring march, 
Will feel some flutter of exulting blood, 
Tending to nobler manhood, evermore, 
To see the Hero trampling down despair. 
And treading firmly to sublime Success, 
Where the tough brute reeled stiffly back, and died, 
And the hard savage dare not follow him ! 

This age, among her manifold wealths and wants, 
Had need of him, to scourge the craven blood 
Of men, grown paltering hucksters, or sleek- 
combed 
Young foplings, toying with a lady's fan. 
In perfum.ed parlors — to some dash of health 
And manly hardihood, which alone make stuff 
For manly souls, and brains for manly thought. 
The stern, unmeant rebuke of his great life, 



RESUME. 151 

Stings idle natures lapped in moneyed ease, 
And plucking the ripe fruits of honor's tree 
From boughs bent to them — like a goading whip 
In a strong hand, till latent nobleness 
Leaps to the cheek, and lights the hopeful flush 
Of mingled shame and better purposes — 
Or all the innate dastard stands confest, 
In plotting envy and a powerless rage. 

This life were worthy of its great renown 
If, ending here, it lent no richer fruit 
Than its high lessons for the young and brave — * 
Of modest worth and golden temperance, 
Heart's purity, and reverential soul — ■ 
For strong oppression an instinctive hate — 
A natural sympathy for wronged and weak- 
Crowning intrepid valor, and firm will, 
And a wise mind, that shakes familiarly 
The hand of Nature in her secretest home. 

But even exuberant Fancy were too poor 
To tell its vast beneficence of worth 
To that Grand Future he has served so well, 
When the swift tides of human life have rolled 



162 EESUME. 

Their endless billows over all the West- 
No w o'er the Rocky Mountains leaping white — 
Now o'er the stesp Nevada, to the sea ; 
From where St. Helen lifts her fiery horn, 
And hoary Hood flings back on Oregon 
The sunrise gold, from his eternal snows. 
To the Sierras of the utmost South, 
That guard the Land of Gold — his memory 
Shall flourish greener than their viny slopes, 
And purer than their never-trodden peaks. 

The endless harp-strings of the captive Zeus, 
— Old thunder-god forlorner, at his task, 
Than Saturn in his exile — pining out 
His lightning soul upon the tremulous wire, 
Shall whisper in one breath, from sea to se j, 
The Name we blazon on our banner-foius ; 
And the chained dragon of the flying car, 
Rousing the echoes with a thunder tramp, 
From bald Katahdin to St. Francis' Bay, 
Will give it with a shriek to all the hills ; 
And mount to mount shall toss our banner-cry, 
" Free men, free soil, Fremont, and Victory !" 



Irinrt nf tjjf Iniisr nf Janii ; 

on 

THREE YEARS IN JERUSALEM, 

IN 

IHE BAYi ©F FOmroS FIILAnFI^, 

The Book is a large 12mo. vohime, of 500 pages, and is embellished 
with a steel plate Portrait of the 

lEAyTIFii JE¥fiSH MMWrn, . 

an Engraved Title Page, and three large, splendid engravings, illustrating 
CHRIST RAISING THE WIDOW'S SON, 

THE BAPTISM OF OUR SAVIOUR, 

AND THE CRUCIFIXION, 

from entire new designs, and executed by the first artists in the countr}', 
making all together one of the most beantifnl and interesting books ever 
offered to the American public. 

The Author and Publishers being anxious to place the work in the hands 
of every person t' at is able to read, have fixed the price at 

THE I.01V SUM OF #1 25. 

» ^ ^ ' • 

From the Christicm Advocate o.nd Journal. 
" This is certainly among the most delightful volumes we have ever 
read. It is very ably and riiost eloquently written. No novel or romance 
could be more efficient in its effect on the imagination, or the affections 
of the heart ; while its facts and incidents are in keeping w^itli the evan- 
gelical records. It is a book which one would read again and again, for 
the delightful and sanctifying emotions it a^^akens in one who feels and 
realizes his personal interest in the *' story of tlie r-ross.'' 

From the Dispatch, Richmond, Va. 
'' Jesus was man, as w^ell as God ! In this book He is seen, conversed 
with, eaten with as a man ! " The book presents him in the social and 
' moral relations of life, with exemplary fidelity 1o the Scripture narrative, 
and yet with a freshness which falls upon the mind like a new^ and thrill- 
ing narrative, and a life-likeness in every lineament which we feel, must 
be true to the original. In truth, the readers, no matter how conversant 
^ w4th the sacred writings, is drawn along with breathless interest, and the 
I very depths of his heart reached and stirred into uncontrollable emotion. 
^ Outside of the Holy Gospels themselves, we have never seen so moving 
*i a picture of the life of the Man of SorroAv, nor any representation of the 
^ wondrous beauty of the Divine character, so touching and so true. 

;, This book will he sent by mail, fostage paid, to any part of the United 

L States on receipt of the price. 

V l^ Agents Avanted in all parts of the country, to sell the above work- 

^ Terms liberal. Address, 

!^ DAYTON & BURDICK, 

^^ No. 29 ANN STREET, N. Y. 



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